• The man allegedly made the girl watch child pornography
  • The girl later informed her parents about the sexual battery incident 
  • Investigators believe the man allegedly committed lewd acts with more victims 

A Florida man was arrested for allegedly luring a child away from a birthday party and sexually battering her at his residence.

The Manatee County Sheriff’s Office said they found out about the incident after the 5-year-old girl’s parents raised the alarm. Investigators learned that the child attended a neighborhood birthday party, where Christopher Thompson, 44, lured the girl back to his Palmetto house.

Officials said Thompson allegedly sexually battered the child and made her watch child pornography before telling the victim not to tell anyone about the incident. Thompson then took the girl back to the party, according to NBC 6.

The child informed her parents, who then alerted authorities about the incident.

Detectives executed a search warrant at the man’s house and found evidence of the man having carried out lewd and lascivious acts on other young victims. Neighbors also told investigators about being concerned for their own children’s safety.

Manatee Sheriff announced on Twitter Tuesday that Thompson was arrested.

Thompson was charged with capital sexual battery, exposing minors to harmful images and production and possession of child pornography. A number of electronic devices were removed from his residence.

Officials said Thompson may face additional charges and also believe that there are more victims yet to come forward.

“It was important that we got that first phone call. The parents took that initiative, they listened to their child and they called us. Because of their quick action and listening to their child, we were able to make an arrest quite quickly. That is very important because we saved another child, they saved another child from being sexually abused. We can’t thank them enough for helping us during this investigation,” Sheriff Rick Wells said after the incident came to light, according to WFLA News Channel 8.

Thompson is an employee with Manatee County Government and was arrested at his workplace. A spokesperson told the outlet that he works as a “utility maintenance technician trainee.”

Sheriff Wells urged parents to come forward with any information they may have on Thompson.

“I want parents to know if they live by this predator, if they have ever seen him before, if they think it is a possibility that he may have been around their kids, they need to talk to their children because this man is the devil," Sheriff Wells said.

Representative image Credit: Pixabay / Alexas_Fotos