A 39-year-old horse trainer in Florida, Jerry Aguilar, was taken into custody on Friday after law enforcement received text messages of him attempting to groom a 13-year-old girl. According to the Ocala Police Department, Aguilar faces ten charges of sending explicit materials to a minor and three charges of soliciting a minor for sexual activities through text messages. He was later booked into the Marion County Jail, as reported by FOX 35 Orlando.
The investigation originated when the mother of the victim discovered inappropriate texts on her daughter’s phone. Police revealed that Aguilar had developed a close friendship with the family, leading to even more concern. The mother promptly contacted the authorities and granted detectives permission to analyze her child’s phone, resulting in the discovery of disturbing evidence.
Ocala Police Department, in a press release, explained that Detective Ridge found evidence indicating that Aguilar had been texting the victim for several weeks, with indications that he was grooming her to become comfortable with his intentions. In response, the police organized a sting operation, where an undercover detective assumed the identity of the victim, cooperating alongside the 13-year-old girl and her family. Aguilar’s arrest took place after he unintentionally sent multiple incriminating messages to the police during the operation.
The police added that during the exchange, Aguilar made numerous sexual references, conveyed sexually explicit content, and solicited the child victim to engage in sexual activities, ultimately leading to his arrest. Law enforcement authorities are urging parents in the local area to be vigilant about their children’s cellphone activities and to promptly report any suspicious behavior or content. Understanding the potential prevalence of such crimes, the police department emphasized the importance of potential victims coming forward, especially considering Aguilar’s role as a horse trainer and coach responsible for the well-being of children. They concluded with a statement emphasizing how these alarming crimes against children are widespread and could happen to anyone.