Bradenton man charged with 'luring' 12-year-old girl


MANATEE -- Deputies have arrested a Bradenton man and charged him with trying to lure or entice a 12-year-old girl at a public library, according to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office.

Eric K. Ray, 36, was arrested at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday at the South Manatee Library, 6081 26th St. W., according to a news release.

The girl was in the library when she was approached by Ray, who then began a conversation with the girl who was alone, according to the report.

Ray asked the girl is she was bored and she replied that she was.

"The suspect then asked her if she would like to accompany him outside, behind the library to 'do a little work and make a little money,'" the report said. "As the victim began to walk away from the suspect he said, 'Come on, come outside and do a little work and you'll get a little money, do a lot of work and you'll get a lot of money,'"

Ray then pulled money out from his pocket and waved it in front of the girl, according to the sheriff's office. She walked away and notified a library employee who called 911.

Ray was located inside the library when deputies arrived and arrested. He invoked his right to remain silent and has said what his intentions were, according to Manatee Sheriff's Office spokesman Dave Bristow.

Ray has no known criminal history.

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