Horrific: Florida men accused in plot to ‘groom and rape’ 3-year-old
Warning: The details in this story are extremely disturbing.
VOLUSIA COUNTY, Fla. — The Volusia County Sheriff’s Office is investigating a horrific case involving a “plot to groom and rape a three-year-old child.”
The sheriff’s office said detectives arrested a man from Ormond Beach on charges of conspiracy to commit sexual battery on a child after they discovered a series of text messages.
Lafe Best, 37, was taken into custody Tuesday evening. The sheriff’s office said his arrest is the result of another case involving his friend, Benjamin Worster, 39. Worster was arrested in January on charges of of lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct and 21 counts of possession of child pornography.
Text messages were discovered on Worster’s phone. Authorities say a three-year-old girl and her mother had moved into Worster’s apartment in December. Soon after, the toddler told her mother Worster had touched her. On December 17, Worster was taken to the hospital following an apparent overdose. That’s when, authorities say, the victim’s mother found his phone on his bed.
That’s when she reportedly discovered a text message thread with someone named Lafe and a “sickening description of a plan to groom and rape the three-year-old girl, whether she was conscious or not.”
The sheriff’s office included a portion of horrific messages in its Facebook post because “they demonstrate how predators work to groom young children for sexual abuse.” We want to warn you, the text messages in the sheriff’s office post are extremely graphic.
Detectives executed a search warrant at Best’s residence on Tuesday and the sheriff’s office said child pornography was discovered on Best’s cell phone in addition to his texts with Worster. More charges are expected as the evidence is examined further and the investigation continues.