Sheriff: Man arrested years after impregnating 11-year-old Polk County girl, fleeing

Rony Mendez

POLK COUNTY, FL (WFLA) — A man who allegedly sexually battered and impregnated an 11-year-old Polk County girl has been arrested and extradited back to the county, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

Polk County detectives worked with the FBI and the U.S. Department of Justice to extradite 25-year-old Rony Mendez for prosecution. Mendez was brought back to Polk County from Guatemala. He arrived in Tampa Monday.

Mendez, who was 23 at the time of the alleged crime, is accused of sexually molesting and impregnating a then-11-year-old girl. The Polk County Health Department contacted law enforcement after determining the girl was pregnant.

Deputies received an arrest warrant for Mendez in November 2014. That same month the suspect allegedly fled from the U.S., authorities said. Before leaving Polk County, Mendez received a call from the victim’s mother asking if he had abused her daughter, according to the Polk County Sheriff’s Office.

The victim is now 13 years old. In May 2015 she gave birth to a baby fathered by the suspect, deputies said.

Deputies said the victim told them Mendez had sexually battered her on at least four occasions. The incidents began when the suspect was 9, and Mendez fondled her, deputies said. When she was 10 and 11, he sexually battered her, according to the sheriff’s office.

Mendez has been charged with three counts of sexual battery on a minor under 12 years of age and one count of lewd molestation.

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