Ellenton man arrested after teen’s mother reports inappropriate texts to police

BRADENTON, Fla. (WFLA) — A Manatee County man is facing several charges after police say he tried to meet a teenage girl for sex.

Police say 69-year-old Dennis Ferrant of Ellenton texted with who he thought was a 14-year-old girl between Feb. 1 and Feb. 9.

Investigators say Ferrant knows the victim personally. When he asked for the girl’s number, police say she felt uncomfortable and gave him her mother’s cell phone’s number instead of her own.

Ferrant then started texting with the mother, thinking it was the 14-year-old girl. The mother contacted Bradenton police when the messages became inappropriate.

Detectives with the police department then took over and started talking to Ferrant using undercover text messages.

On Feb. 9, police say Ferrant solicited the girl to have sex and set up a location to meet her. When Ferrant arrived, he was arrested and admitted to his crime.

Ferrant is now facing several felony charges including attempted sexual performance of a child, transmission of harmful material to a minor and traveling to meet a minor for the purpose of engaging in illegal activity.

He was released from the Manatee County jail over the weekend after posting $120,000 bond.

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