MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. - Just days after an elaborate undercover sex sting in Sarasota County, Manatee County investigators have made an arrest of their own -- this time picking up a world famous tennis player.
According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, 27-year-old Pierre-Ludovic Duclos-Lasnier allegedly arranged to meet a 13-year old girl using his cell phone to have sex with her, only he found detectives when he got there to pick her up Thursday night.
"At the moment I do not travel, because financially I don't have the money,” said Duclos-Lasnier Friday when a judge asked him when he plans on playing in his next tennis match. But the question was rhetorical because the judge quickly informed him that whatever plan he had would be canceled. "You’re not going to travel, I'm not going to let it," said the judge.
The conversation happened via a closed circuit TV at the Manatee County Jail, during the pro tennis player's first appearance for charges could result in him spending up to 7 years in prison.
"The first charge you've been charged with is of using a computer to solicit or entice a child to commit sex acts. You're also charged with traveling to solicit or entice a child to commit sex act," said the judge.
Five felony charges in total. And according to the police report, they all stem from inappropriate text messages the Quebec native sent to a 13-year-old girl. The girl originally reached out to him for tennis lessons. But, officials say when the messages crossed the line, the girl told a friend, whose parents contacted the police and they launched a undercover investigation.
"We decided to initiate another conversation. The defendant thought he was talking to the 13-year-old, when in actuality he was talking to the detective. Well he ended up sending actual nude photos and arranging to meet with who thought was the 13-year-old at Starbucks," said Manatee County Sheriff information officer Dave Bristow
Bristow also says Duclos-Lasnier gave a full confession to investigators during questioning. And during his first appearance, Duclos-Lasnier said he was in town training. "I lived at the academy where I train,” he told the judge.
ABC 7 contacted IMG Academies, who denies any affiliation with Duclos-Lasnier, except to say he has used the facilities in the past but is no longer allowed on the premises.
In the meantime, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office says there's a lesson to be learned from this incident. "You really need to be aware of what your kids are doing on their cell phones. I don't think parents think about that much," said Bristow.
A report says he also sent her an explicit photo of his private area.
Duclos-Lasnier is facing charges of Use of a computer to Sed/Sol/Ent a child to commit sex acts, Travel to Sed/Sol/Ent a child to commit sex act, Transmission of material harmful to minors by electronic device or equipment, and Attempted Lewd and Lascivious Battery.