Haines City man facing lewd/lascivious molestation charges – victims are children
(BTLS Staff) HAINES CITY, Fla. – A 67-year-old Haines City man is being held without bond at the Polk County Jail following his arrest Tuesday on a variety of sex-related charges.
The victims in the crimes Benson Lee Roberts is charged in are children.
According to a Polk County Sheriff’s Office report deputies responded to the suspect’s residence to investigate allegations of suspicious activity involving kids in the neighborhood.
A witness told investigators a child was seen getting out of Roberts’ truck on Sunday. An investigation revealed Roberts had taken the child to a local retail store without the parents knowledge or permission.
Detectives also learned Roberts had taken two different children to the store in the truck the day before as well. Again, without knowledge or permission of the parents.
They also discovered Roberts is the owner of a Recreational Vehicle. Residents living nearby reported seeing the suspect taking three neighborhood kids into the RV ‘approximately 50 times over the past few years.’
During questioning Roberts told detectives he invited the children to watch TV and eat snacks. When detectives spoke with two of the children, they said Roberts touched their breasts and private areas.
The suspect admitted to touching one of the victims on her privates, but claimed it was accidental. He later confessed to the crimes and later admitted to touching another victim in an inappropriate manner.
Roberts also told detectives that he took two other children to a store without the knowledge or permission of the parents on two occasions.
“Mr. Roberts thought he had a perfect setting to commit his unconscionable crimes against children in secret,” said Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd. “But what he didn’t consider, is this is the kind of secret that will not last. Rightfully, children talk to their parents and parents talk to law enforcement.”
Roberts was charged with 4 counts of Interfere with Custody of Minor, 5
counts of Lewd Lascivious Molestation, and 1 count of Lewd Molestation.
Additional charges may be filed as the investigation continues.