When Nelson Carrizo pleaded guilty to possession of child porn in October, he was given a three-year prison term. But he didn’t have to surrender right away.
A Miami-Dade judge and lawyers in the case agreed Carrizo could spend the holidays a free man before surrendering after the New Year.
Police say he took advantage of the court-issued reprieve to lure an underage girl to his Surfside apartment for two illegal trysts. He met the teen through a social networking website called VampireFreaks.com, a site that has been stung by reports of users committing rapes and murders.
Carrizo, 30, who listed his occupation as “sinner” on his VampireFreaks profile, is awaiting trial on two new charges of unlawful sex with a minor.
And prosecutors are asking the judge, Samantha Ruiz-Cohen, to increase his original sentence from three years in prison to 50.
Ron Book, a high-profile lobbyist and advocate of victims of sexual abuse, said he was shocked that the man was allowed out before surrender.
“We believe there is ample time between time the offender cops a plea and the day they are sentenced to get their affairs in order,” said Book, president of the sex abuse awareness group Lauren’s Kids. “These individuals, whether convicted of child abuse or child pornography, are a danger to the community.”
But at the criminal courthouse, it is not unusual for defendants who strike plea deals in non-violent crimes to be allowed to surrender at a later date, especially if court-ordered doctors — as happened in this case — said the person was not a risk while out of custody.
“No one has a crystal ball. He could have easily committed this awful crime while on bond before the plea,” said former Miami-Dade prosecutor John Priovolos, who is not involved in the case. “But because of the way the plea deal was structured, there is a good chance he will spend that 50 years in prison for his conduct.”
Carrizo, a former security guard for Premier Protective Services, went by the screen name “Sylince,” according to court documents. He was originally arrested in March 2009 after authorities were alerted to an AOL e-mail he received that contained child porn. Miami-Dade police detectives found 63 possible images of explicit images of underage girls.
He confessed, according to an arrest report.
After his arrest, a court-ordered psychological evaluation had determined that Carrizo would not be a danger to society if allowed to be free before trial.
Finally in October, Carrizo agreed to a standard plea deal for first-time child porn offenders: a technical sentence of 50 years in prison, but “mitigated” to three years behind bars followed by 10 years probation.
He pleaded guilty to 10 counts of possessing child pornography.
At the time, Judge Ruiz-Cohen allowed him to stay out for the holidays, but warned him that his plea agreement would be “void” if broke the law.
He surrendered on Jan. 9. At the time, nobody knew about his cruising on VampireFreaks.com. It would soon begin to emerge.
Days earlier, according to a search warrant filed in Miami-Dade circuit court, Palm Beach County deputies found a 16-year-old girl in a local gym trying to slash her wrists with her own fingernails.
Deputies committed the girl to a hospital for a psychological evaluation. Investigators soon learned that her parents had found explicit text messages and photos on her phone.
The teen revealed that she had first met Carrizo on VampireFreaks in June 2012 — two years after the man had been arrested for child porn. They knew each other’s true age, the girl told detectives.
Over the months, Carrizo “asked her several times if she was a cop and if this was a setup,” the warrant said. She sent him nude photos to prove she was not.
Then in December — two months after he had pleaded guilty — Carrizo began urging her to come to Miami for sex.
The teen admitted sneaking out of her home twice in early January, taking her mother’s car and driving to Miami to have sex with Carrizo, according to the warrant.
Carrizo lives with his mother in a Surfside apartment. When she snuck in, his mother was asleep on the couch, she recalled to detectives.
Carrizo created his VampireFreaks profile in February 2012, according to the website.
“We enjoy the night, the darkness, where we can do things that aren’t acceptable in the light,” he wrote. “Night is when we slake our thirst.”
This is not the first vampire-themed underage sex case in Miami-Dade.
In 2011, authorities arrested Christopher Rodriguez, of Homestead, after he hopped a trained to Virginia with a plan to seduce his 14-year-old online girlfriend and drug her mother with sleeping pills. Rodriguez, 28 at the time, met the girl through the online vampire role-playing site Reign of Blood.
Last month, Rodriguez was sentenced in Virginia to 15 years in prison.
As for VampireFreaks, the website claims 1.7 million users, who create profiles similar to how Facebook operates. In 2008, it even opened a New York City clothing store (it closed three years later).
But like other social networking sites, VampireFreaks has come under scrutiny because of bizarre and violent criminal behavior linked to users.
The most high-profile case: In 2007, 15-year-old girl, Carly Ryan, was found murdered in South Australia. She met her killers, a father-and-son duo, through the website.
In 2006, a 12-year-old Canadian girl and her 23-year-old boyfriend, both users of the site, were arrested and later convicted for the murders of her parents and 8-year-old brother.
In May 2010, Minnesota authorities charged a Scottish man with exchanging sexually explicit photos with a 14-year-old girl through the site. The man, who was not extradited, went by the online moniker: Master Alucard — Dracula spelled backward.