Deputies in Hernando County have arrested a man for attempted lewd and lascivious behavior, among other charges.
According to deputies, Robert Edward Smith, 61, engaged in long-term chats online with a person he believed to be a 13-year-old girl. During the conversations, Smith requested to meet the girl and the two agreed to meet at the Holiday Inn Express on Cortez Blvd in Brooksville to engage in sexual activity.
Smith stated that he would meet the child at 2 p.m. and described the vehicle he would be driving. Sheriff’s deputies arrived on scene and arrested Robert Smith before the meeting could take place. He is being held in the Hernando County Detention Center on a $17,000 bond with attempted lewd and lascivious behavior, traveling to meet and seduce a minor and using a computer to solicit a minor.
The Sheriff’s Office is investigating whether there are other victims. They suggest parents to always monitor any conversations their children are having with adults, whether in person or via social media.
“Words cannot express how disgusting it is to think that this person was attempting to prey upon a vulnerable Hernando County child,” Sheriff Nienhuis said this about the incident. “Our citizens can rest assured that we will continually work to do everything reasonable to keep child predators away from our children and behind bars where they belong.”