Florida Man Charged With Paying Middle School Girls He Met on Instagram for Sex, Police Say

Mauricio Hernandez, 25, was arrested Wednesday on multiple charges involving sexual activity with a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old, an arrest report said

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A Miami man accused of meeting middle school girls on Instagram and paying them in exchange for sex is facing human trafficking and other charges, authorities said.

Mauricio Hernandez, 25, was arrested Wednesday on two counts of human trafficking, two counts of sexual battery of a minor, two counts of using a computer to lure a child to engage in sexual conduct, two counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a child 12-16 years old, and one count of interference with custody, Miami-Dade jail records showed.

The charges against Hernandez stem from sexual activity involving a 15-year-old and a 13-year-old, an arrest report said.

According to the report, the Miami-Dade State Attorney's Office Human Trafficking Task Force began investigating a tip that the 15-year-old was involved in an Instagram group where children are "interconnected to offer sexual relationships with adults."

The 15-year-old told detectives she was on Instagram when she met Hernandez, who offered her money in exchange for sex, the report said.

The teen said she had sex with Hernandez three times, twice at motels and once at Jose Marti Park on Southwest 4th Avenue, the report said.

She said Hernandez would send an Uber to pick her up near her middle school during school hours, the report said.

The 13-year-old also said she met Hernandez on Instagram and accepted money from him in exchange for having sex in his car, the report said.

She said Hernandez also offered her a vape pen, which she refused, and said he tried to get information about other minors he could pay for sex, the report said.

Detectives had the 13-year-old message Hernandez on Instagram, saying she needed help because she wanted to go on her 8th grade field trip.

Hernandez offered her money in exchange for sex as they had done before, and said he could pick her up, the report said. She asked if he would bring condoms and he replied that he hadn't used one the last time, the report said.

Hernandez was later arrested outside his home. He gave a full confession, the report said.

"In this case we have a 25-year-old who's preying on those under 18 and offering them money in exchange for sexual acts with them," Miami Police spokesperson Michael Vega said.

Hernandez was booked into jail, where he remained held without bond Thursday, records showed. Attorney information wasn't available.

Vega said it's possible more alleged victims are out there.

"We do believe that there is more victims and if there's anybody that recognizes him, to please come forward and share your information with the City of Miami Police Department," he said.

Vega also said it was important for parents to be involved in what their kids do online.

"If your child is under the age of 18, you have the right to look at their Instagram, you have the right to go into their phones and look at the conversations that they're having," Vega said. "Also, take the time to educate your children, take the time to talk to them, and have that dialog where you can speak to them about who's making you an offer? Who are you meeting, where are you going, with who are you going? All of these are important factors that parents can do to prevent something like this from happening."

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