Man charged with engaging in sexual activity with minor he met through social networking app

Omar Freitas-Velez, Manatee County Sheriff's Office photo

MANATEE COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Manatee County deputies arrested a 27-year-old man Sunday after they caught him in a bathroom with a 14-year-old. The suspect and victim met on the app Grindr, deputies said.

Omar Freitas-Velez is charged with two counts of a lewd or lascivious act and two counts of traveling to meet a minor to engage in sexual acts.

Deputies received a call Sunday around 2:50 a.m. from a security guard at a Bradenton apartment complex. The guard saw two people jumping over a locked fence and said they entered the bathroom near a community pool.

A deputy arrived to see a light on inside the woman’s bathroom. The door was locked so the deputy knocked. “After approximately two minutes, a white male, later identified as the defendant, answered the door,” the responding deputy writes in an affidavit. “I walked into the bathroom and located, what appeared to be, a child in the bathroom.”

The boy told the deputy he’s 14 years old.

At this point, the deputy placed handcuffs on the suspect, according to the affidavit.

Freitas-Velez said he left work about a month ago “with the intentions of having sexual activity with the victim,” deputies said. That night the defendant and victim engaged in sexual activity in the defendant’s vehicle, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office.

The suspect admitted to knowing the victim’s age, deputies said.

In addition, Freitas-Velez admitted to picking up the victim this past Sunday, deputies said. They again engaged in sexual activity, according to the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office. The victim told deputies he asked the defendant to stop on multiple occasions. Freitas-Velez did not give “in to the victim’s commands to stop,” deputies said.

Anyone with information on this case should call the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office at (941) 747-3011.

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