Cape Coral man accused of molesting young girl

NAPLES, Fla. — A 37-year-old man was arrested for allegedly sexually assaulting a little girl, the Collier County Sheriff’s Office said.

Ariel Cruz, of 2 N.E. 17th Ave. in Cape Coral, is facing two counts of sexual battery and two counts of lewd and lascivious battery with a victim younger than 12 years old after being accused of sexually abusing a Naples girl he babysat for nearly two years.

On Dec. 27, the victim confessed to her father that Cruz had been sexually abused her, according to police reports.

The father then drove from Naples to Cruz’s home in Cape Coral to confront him.

When he arrived, he got out of the car and shoved Cruz, asking him what he did to his daughter, deputies said.

Cruz denied the accusations and claimed the victim was lying.

The victim’s father then filed a police report with the Cape Coral Police Department, which was forwarded to the Collier County Sheriff’s Office since the alleged abuse occurred in Naples, according to reports.

The victim admitted in an interview with the Children’s Advocacy Center that Cruz would touch her inappropriately and force her to perform oral sex on him, deputies said.

Cruz also watched porn on the victim and her sibling’s phones, then intentionally left it playing for them.

HeĀ is currently in custody with a $400,000 bond.

The case has been forwarded to the state attorney’s office.

Reporter:Olivia Mancino