Crime

Suspect in attacks on 3 Bradenton girls pleads not guilty

MANATEE — A 23-year-old man has pleaded not guilty to attacking three girls in Bradenton, according to court records.

Jared Jenkins has pleaded not guilty to charges of:

-- False imprisonment and attempted sexual battery in connection with a Nov. 29 incident involving a 15-year-old girl in the 5100 block of 51st Street West.

-- Kidnapping and sexual battery, in connection with the rape of a 15-year-old girl on Jan. 31, in the 4900 block of 47th Avenue West.

-- Attempted sexual battery and kidnapping a child under the age of 13, in connection with an attack on a 12-year-old girl Feb. 10, in the 5500 block of 26th Street West.

Despite the pleas, investigators say that Jenkins admitted to the attacks after he was arrested Feb. 17.

Jenkins’ arraignment date is set for March 25.

He is currently in Manatee County jail where he is being held without bond.

The Bradenton Police Department and the Manatee County Sheriff’s Office worked together on this case, which investigators say was solved thanks to a tip and with the help of two different surveillance cameras -- including one at Bayshore High School -- that had captured images of the suspect in one of the attacks.

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