Deputies: Lehigh Acres man sexually abused children, trafficked girls
A Lehigh Acres man has been arrested on Monday for child sexual abuse and trafficking underage girls, authorities said.
The suspect, Jesus Francisco Santana Perez, 52, faces charges of two counts of Lewd Battery per Florida Statute 800.04 (4a1) and two counts of 787.06 (3a1) for Human Trafficking.
One of the victims said Perez got her high before taking off her clothes. The young girl tried pushing him away before he eventually had sex with her. Shortly after, Lee County Sheriff’s Office deputies learned about another young girl. The suspect sexually abused her for the past year. She was forced to have sex with 10 adult men.
Further investigation into Perez by the LCSO discovered additional victims. These underaged girls the suspect was trafficking were provided with drugs, the use of his car and cash.
Dawn Shockley, who is a neighbor of the suspect, said he ruined the lives of the victims.
“I’m definitely praying for the victims,” Shockley said. “I’m still in disbelief because there was no indication.”
There are several warning signs of abuse that can alert you to a child being trafficked. These can include distrusting or sounding like they have rehearsed answers; victims may also appear withdrawn or depressed; and, they can also show signs of physical injuries or exhaustion.
LCSO Sheriff Carmine Marceno said there is a zero-tolerance policy for any abuse.
“Human trafficking is one of the most despicable offenses that we investigate,” Sheriff Marceno said. “I’m proud of my team for acting quickly, investigating thoroughly, and removing this monster from the streets of Lee County.”
If you or someone you know may be a victim of sex trafficking, contact the National Human Trafficking Hotline.