Port Charlotte man arrested after allegedly meeting young girl for sex
SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A 35-year-old man has been arrested after allegedly meeting up with a minor for sex, authorities say. A concerned Uber driver who saw the encounter is being called a hero.
Charlotte County Sheriff’s deputies received a tip Feb. 25 from an Uber driver after he dropped off a juvenile at the Microtel Inn and Suites on Tamiami Trail in Port Charlotte.
The driver reported his passenger got out of his car and into a white Cadillac with a single black male occupant. Deputies found the car and detained the occupants, the juvenile and a man later identified as Kenneth Devon Fordham.
Fordham refused to speak to the deputies, invoked his Miranda rights and was placed under arrest.
During an interview with the juvenile, she revealed that she had met Fordham on Facebook in January and that he was aware of her age. Despite this, he met the girl at motels on at least two other occasions, where they allegedly smoked marijuana and engaged in sexual activity. These claims were supported by messages found on the victim’s cellphone.
“This is a great example of someone who recognized something wasn’t right and made the choice to report it. Without that Uber driver’s intuition and action, who knows how long this would have gone on,” Sheriff Bill Prummell said.
Fordham is charged with two counts each of:
- Lewd and lascivious battery on a victim 12-16 years old;
- Using a computer to seduce/lure a child;
- Traveling to meet a minor after using computer to lure a child.
He is being held at the Charlotte County Jail with a total bond amount of $1.7 million.
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