Pinellas County Sheriff’s Office
Investigative Operations Bureau
- Crimes Against Children Unit
Largo Police Department
Chad Michael Lesch (Arrested)
Address: 902 2nd Avenue East, Jerome, Idaho
Charges: Eight counts of Transmission of Harmful Material to Minor and one count of Traveling to Meet a Minor.
The victim is a 17 year-old male. Per Florida Statute 119.071, no further information will be released that would tend to identify the victim.
Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit have arrested a California man for utilizing the internet to send inappropriate sexual photographs and video of himself to a minor and traveling to meet the minor.
The incident occurred at about 6:30 p.m. on Wednesday, February 15, 2017.
The suspect was arrested at about 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, February 19, 2017.
The incidents occurred in Pinellas County.
Detectives assigned to the Crimes Against Children Unit have arrested a California man for utilizing the internet to send inappropriate sexual photographs and video of himself to a minor, and traveling to meet the minor.
According to detectives, their investigation began on Thursday February 16, 2016, after the parents of the 17-year-old victim called deputies to their residence. The victim’s parents informed deputies that a man who identified himself as, 28-year-old Chad Lesch, showed up at their residence wanting to meet their son.
Lesch told the victim’s parents that he traveled from California to Pinellas County for the purpose of meeting victim. Lesch said he knew the victim was only 17-years-old, and he was willing to wait to pursue a relationship with the victim until he was legal age.
Lesch left the victim’s residence after informing the parents that he was staying in a local hotel.
Through various investigative techniques, detectives determined that Lesch engaged the victim in an online relationship beginning in December 2016. Detectives located several sexually inappropriate photographs and videos of Lesch on the victim’s cellular phone. Lesch utilized the internet messaging applications Kik and Skype to send the inappropriate photographs and videos to the victim.
On Sunday, February 19, 2017, Largo Police officers located Lesch during a traffic stop and notified deputies. Lesch was transported to the Sheriff’s Administration Building located at 10750 Ulmerton Road, in Largo, where he was interviewed by detectives. Lesch admitted to the allegations.
Lesch was arrested and transported to the Pinellas County Jail without incident.
Lesch was charged with eight counts of Transmission of Harmful Material to Minor and one count of Traveling to Meet a Minor.
The investigation continues.
Booking photo of Chad Lesch.
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