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Plant City Observer Friday, Aug. 31, 2018 2 months ago

Plant City sex offender arrested for traveling to meet minor

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Stephen Michael Roa was arrested at his home on Thursday.

A Plant City man is behind bars after police said he traveled to Sarasota to meet a minor for sex.

Stephen Michael Roa (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)
Stephen Michael Roa (Hillsborough County Sheriff's Office)

Sarasota County deputies said Stephen Michael Roa, 30, met an 11-year-old girl on social media and exchanged sexually explicit photos with her over Snapchat. Roa allegedly presented himself as a 19-year old in their communications. Deputies became aware of Roa’s activity when the girl’s mother notified them, and an investigation was launched on Aug. 23.

According to SCSO, Roa drove from Plant City to Sarasota to meet the girl on her way to school and, when they met, she told him her age and performed a sex act on him.

Roa has been classified as a sex offender since 2011, when he was charged with lewd or lascivious exhibition on a child under 16, but his 10-year probation was terminated in 2016. He did not disclose his social media accounts with the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, which requires all sex offenders to register their email addresses and social media accounts within 48 hours of relocation and registering the new home address with the department. The sheriff’s department executed a warrant and arrested Roa at his home with help from the Hillsborough County Sheriff’s Office Criminal Investigations Division.

Roa now faces four felony charges: Lewd or Lascivious Molestation on a Victim Under 12 Years Old, Traveling to Meet a Minor for Sex, Seduce, Solicit, Lure or Entice a Minor, and Failure to Provide Internet Identifiers within 48 Hours of Sex Offender Registration.

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