JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – Disclaimer: Some may find details in this report to be graphic. Discretion advised.
A 61-year-old man is facing numerous charges following his arrest in a sexual extortion investigation, according to the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office.
The Sheriff’s Office said that in June 2022, it received a report of a “possible network intrusion” from a citizen. Investigators determined, a JSO news release states, that someone was extorting a “young female victim” by leading her to believe her electronic devices and cloud accounts had been compromised.
Detectives, the Sheriff’s Office said, learned that the suspect claimed to have nude photographs of the victim and stated he would release them if additional photos were not provided.
“As the investigation continued, multiple victims were located and interviewed; and it was further discovered that the suspect had met with at least one female victim and coerced her into sexual acts so that her photos would not be released,” the Sheriff’s Office said in a Monday news release.
According to JSO, detectives with the St. Johns County Sheriff’s Office joined the investigation. Investigators said detectives began engaging with the suspect and a plan was devised for the suspect to meet with who he though was a minor, which is when he was taken into custody by JSO.
Records show Jose Manuel Pinto Florez was booked into the Duval County jail on two counts of sexual battery, two counts of unlawful sexual activity with certain minor, five counts of extortion, two counts of traveling to meet a minor to do unlawful acts, and three counts of soliciting a child via computer.
An arrest warrant obtained by News4JAX shows Florez is accused of soliciting sex from multiple people.
According to the warrant, one person alleged the suspect began texting from an unknown number starting in May 2022. That person told investigators she believed her iCloud was hacked because of some of the texts that detailed personal information, like nude photos stored on SnapChat.
The warrant says the suspect said he was named Nicholas and that he was going to drive to her house blindfold her and put her in a car. According to the warrant, the victim stated she felt threatened but unable to state who the who the person was who hacked her account.
The warrant says that on June 16, a U.S. Secret Service agent met with her to discuss her iCloud being hacked, and during that meeting, she told the agent that four other women were also receiving texts.
The warrant says the she believed the texts were coming from one person who she met with four times out of fear -- Florez, who she said threatened to release nude photos of her if she didn’t meet with him.
According to the warrant, she said she met with Florez, known to her as “ghost,” twice in December 2020 at the Ramada Inn Mandarin. Another meeting was at the Target parking lot on San Jose Boulevard.
The victim said before she met with Florez, he sent flowers to her house on Dec. 13 2020, the warrant states. She told investigators she knew he had her address, but she didn’t know how he got it.
The victim, the warrant states, was forced to have sexual intercourse and to engage in oral sex with a blindfold on during the meetups.
According to the warrant, the suspect would pay the victim in Starbucks and Target gift cards, even though she didn’t want to be paid.
The warrant states that the suspect had a partner, The warrant states the partner and the victim lived together and that the victim believed that’s how the suspect obtained personal information.
Florez is being held on $4.3 million dollars bond, pending his arraignment on Sept. 1.
JSO added: “If you feel you have been exploited or victimized, contact the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office at 904-630-0500.”
#JSO, along with @SJSOPIO and @SecretService's N. FL Cyber Crimes Task Force arrested the pictured suspect for numerous counts of sexual related offense involving minors. If you have information or feel you have been victimized, call 630-0500. For more:https://t.co/FozbftaOSo pic.twitter.com/YOBJICFJuJ— Jax Sheriff's Office (@JSOPIO) August 15, 2022