A Florida man has been arrested and charged with using the internet to attempt to entice a 12-year-old child to engage in sexual activity.
Zachary Ray Ellis, 45, Jacksonville, faces a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years, up to life, in federal prison, and a potential life term of supervised release.
At the time of his arrest on February 14, 2023, Ellis was an employee of a media and technology company.
According to court documents, on August 26, 2022, an undercover FBI agent, who was posing online as the mother (the “mother”) of an 11-year-old “child,” received a message from the user “Twiztd,” subsequently identified as Ellis, on a particular social media application.
In the news: Salt Life Co-Founder Gets 12 Years In Prison For Shooting Death Of Teen At Florida Resort
During the conversation, which eventually switched to text messages, the “mother” advised that she was looking for the “child” to get some experience, and Ellis stated that he “love[s] young girls. 10-12 fav age.”
Ellis detailed his sexual interest in the “child,” telling the “mother” about the sexual acts he wanted to perform on the “child.”
During the text messaging, Ellis spoke directly with the “child” via text, grooming her and directing her on how to perform a sex act. The conversation then continued on and off throughout September, October, and November 2022, with Ellis reinitiating contact each time, checking to see if the “mother” had found anyone to help her with the “child” yet.
On February 5, 2023, Ellis again reached out to the “mother” to find out about her progress with finding someone for the “child.”
In the news: Florida Homegrown Pot Proposal Emerges
From February 6 through February 13, 2023, Ellis detailed his interest in the “child,” who was now 12 years old, including specific sexual activities he wanted to engage in with her.
Ellis discussed meeting the “mother” first and then, if the meeting went well, taking the “child” out separately on his own. On February 13, 2023, Ellis made arrangements to meet with the “mother” at a prearranged location and was arrested by FBI agents when he arrived.
The Federal Bureau of Investigation investigated this case.
Android Users, Click Here To Download The Free Press App And Never Miss A Story. Follow Us On Facebook Here Or Twitter Here. Signup for our free newsletter by clicking here.
Login To Facebook From Your Browser To Leave A Comment