Port Charlotte Man arrested in Manatee in sex sting

April 27, 2013 

— A Port Charlotte man was arrested in Manatee County Friday night after he drove here hoping to have sex with an underage girl, the Manatee County Sheriff's Office said.

According to a news release, Thomas Hofmeister, 39, began communicating with an undercover detective posing as a 12-year-old female on the Internet.

Hofmeister expressed his desire to travel to and engage in "felonious fornication" with the 12-year-old, the news release said. A meeting was set up at a site not disclosed by the sheriff's office.

Hofmeister arrived as scheduled at about 11:45 p.m. at the rendezvous locale and was arrested without incident, deputies said. Hofmeister was charged with attempted lewd and lascivious battery, traveling to meet a minor to engage on sexual acts, use of a computer to solicit a minor in sex acts, and in-state personal electronic transport of child pornography.

He was booked into the Manatee County jail on $9,000 bond, according to the sheriff's office.

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