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Arcadia is a city of about 8,000 residents in southwestern Florida, located almost 50 miles north of Fort Myers. It serves as the government seat of DeSoto County. In July 2019, the DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office participated in “Operation Intercept VI,” conducted by the Sarasota County Sheriff’s Office, which focused on protecting children from online exploiters and human trafficking and resulted in the arrest of 25 men who expressed interest in sexually abusing minors.
At least one opportunistic sex buyer arrest has occurred in the city. In August 2021, police arrested an Arcadia man accused of following a girl (under 16 years of age) and offering to give her money in exchange for sexual acts. The 43-year-old man allegedly followed the young girl on foot for about half a mile while making sexual advances and offering her money, the victim told officers with the Arcadia Police Department. The suspect was not at the scene when police arrived, but he was found the next day and admitted to the crimes, police said. Officers arrested him and he was later charged with force/compel/coerce another to become a prostitute, contributing to the delinquency or dependency of a child, and aggravated stalking of a minor. He was held without bond at the DeSoto County Jail and his identity was released to the press.
- Arcadia Police Department
- DeSoto County Sheriff’s Office
Sex Buyer Arrest, Identity Disclosure:
- https://www.winknews.com/arcadia-man-accused-of-soliciting-underage-girl-for-sex (2021)
- https://nbc-2.com/arcadia-man-stalked-underage-girl-offered-her-money-for-sex-police-say (2021)
- https://floridanewstimes.com/arcadia-man-accused-of-asking-a-minor-girl-for-sex (2021)
Sex Trafficking and Child Sexual Exploitation in the Area:
Local Prostitution Ordinances: