PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. (WFLA) – Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office detectives say a Seminole man took sexually explicit pictures of a child.
An investigation into James Rybicki, 60, started in August 2016 after a complaint the suspect had “approached a different 10 year old girl and tried convincing her to model bathing suits so he could take pictures of her.”
“Rybicki told the girl to keep the conversation a secret,” a Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office spokesperson said. She instead went to the authorities.
Detectives said Rybicki approached two other girls between the ages of 10 and 16 and tried to talk them into posing for pictures while wearing bathing suits. The 10-year-old went to the residence.
The victim, who is now 13 years old, is not the same child who triggered the investigation. This girl told detectives she went to Rybicki’s house and he took “inappropriate photographs of her in bikini style bathing suits,” the sheriff’s office spokesperson said.
“Rybicki told the victim to keep the incident a secret,” the spokesperson added.
Detectives said they found a photo of the victim on one of the suspect’s devices.
All of the girls detectives spoke with knew Rybicki, according to the sheriff’s office.
Rybicki is charged with promoting a sexual performance by a child, possession of child pornography, two counts of being a felon in possession of a firearm, and being a felon in possession of ammunition.
He was convicted in 2001 of lewd and lascivious conduct for taking inappropriate sexual pictures of a young girl, detectives said.
Attorney expert Roger Futerman told News Channel 8 why Rybicki did not have to register as a sex offender after the 2001 conviction. The lewd and lascivious conduct charge “got reduced to either one or two counts misdemeanor contributing to the delinquency of a minor, which first of all drops it from a felony to a misdemeanor and second of all, that does not require sex offender registration,” Futerman said.
A representative for the State Attorney’s Office said Rybicki accepted a plea deal and was given a year of probation.
No one was at Rybicki’s home Wednesday.
None of his neighbors wanted to talk on camera but did say they became cautious of Rybicki once they learned of his past.
There may be more victims. If you have information or believe your child may have been victimized, call Detective Alvarez of the Crimes Against Children Unit at (727) 582-6200.