Clay County investigators have arrested a 32-year-old Jacksonville man that they said made fake online profiles posing as a boy to lure preteen girls into having sex.
Terry Lee Meadows is charged with using a computer to solicit a child for sex, transmission of material harmful to a minor and making harassing telephone calls.
Deputies said he is accused of contacting two female preteen victims, but they believe more may come forward after seeing the story.
Deputies arrested Meadows on Friday. They said he committed the crimes from his Argyle Forest home computer.
Investigators said Meadows admitted to making several fake online profiles, pretending to be a boy, then used those profiles to solicit young girls for sex — both online and on the phone.
Neighbor Ernest Tabb has lived near Meadows for a decade.
“I know his mother and I have seen him. I’ve talked to him one or two times, but he always keeps to himself,” Tabb said. “(He’s) always in the house, and I rarely see him come out.”
News4Jax went to Meadows’ home, but no one wanted to comment.
According to the warrant against Meadows, one victim told investigators Meadows asked her for sex and for nude pictures of her via Facebook. He also made a lewd phone call to her, according to the warrant. Investigators also found another witness who claims to have received a similar obscene phone call from Meadows.
Meadows was booked into the Clay County Jail on $150,012 bond.
The Clay County Sheriff’s Office recommends several things when it comes to online safety:
- Keep personal information, such as last name, address, phone number, and other things private
- Don’t meet online-only friends in person
- Don’t open emails or download files from people you don’t know
- Stop what you’re doing and tell a trusted adult if something online makes you uncomfortable
Clay County Sheriff’s Office spokeswoman Mary Justino said some basic information regarding online safety can be found on the Sheriff’s Office public website athttps://www.claysheriff.com/personal-safety/self-defense.
“Unfortunately, many times parents don’t realize that their preteen and teenage children have been targeted by online predators … until an incident like this occurs,” Justino said. “We encourage parents to discuss this issue with their children as soon as they give their child Internet and/or social media access — and to regularly monitor that access, especially when younger children are involved.”
Information for Internet safety is also available from the FBI at https://www.fbi.gov/stats-services/publications/parent-guide.