Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
-Crimes Against Children Unit
Robert William Bearlepp (Arrested)
Address: 1476 Michigan Avenue, Clearwater
Arrested for lewd and lascivious battery, sexual performance by a child, certain use of computer services prohibited, and transmission of material harmful to a minor.
The victim is a female under the age of 16 who is known to the suspect. Per Florida Statute 119.071(2)(h)1 no further information will be released that would tend to identify the victim.
Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit have arrested a Clearwater man after he engaged the victim, a female under the age of 16, in sexual activity; and sent her sexually explicit photos of himself via cell phone.
The suspect was arrested in the late afternoon hours of Thursday, June 21, 2012.
The suspect was arrested at the Sheriff’s Administration Building located at 10750 Ulmerton Road in Largo after he agreed to come in for an interview.
According to detectives, the suspect 26-year-old Robert William Bearlepp, developed a friendship and a relationship with the female victim, and engaged her in sexual activity. Detectives say Bearlepp also sent the victim sexually explicit photographs of himself via cell phone and requested she do the same.
On June 20, 2012, the victim told her parents about the relationship. They in turn reported the crime to the Sheriff’s Office. Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit began to investigate.
Detectives made contact with the suspect on June 21st, 2012 at his place of employment and the suspect agreed to be interviewed at the Sheriff’s Administration Building. During the interview, Bearlepp admitted to the offense and was arrested for one-count each lewd and lascivious battery, sexual performance by a child, certain use of computer services prohibited, and transmission of material harmful to a minor. He was subsequently transported to the Pinellas County Jail without further incident.
Detectives say the crime occurred over a period of time between February 2012 to present.
Bearlepp is employed by a company that manufactures body lotions.
The investigation continues.
The Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office is a member of the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
A booking photo of the suspect will be available after the booking process is complete.