SARASOTA -- A man was arrested Wednesday and charged with making a girl under 18 years old perform sexual acts on a webcam for money, according to the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office.
After a report from the Department of Children and Families, deputies began investigating a 17-year-old using a website to stream herself getting naked and performing sexual acts for money, according to an arrest report.
An investigator at DCF said Andrew Bennett, 27, was exploiting the minor and collecting money for her online performances.
Deputies said they contacted the victim, who said in an interview Bennett had contacted her via Facebook and told her he had a job where she could "model on a webcam to make money." She agreed, and he told her to send him a copy of her ID and a photo of her holding her ID.
The victim also told deputies she met with Bennett three times in 2015 in Orlando. He set up the webcam account because she was too young, and he had a studio with lingerie and costumes at his house for women to model in, according to the report. The victim also said she was encouraged to work as an escort and sell illegal drugs when she went to Orlando, but she didn't.
Bennett would get a check directly from the website for the services the victim performed and would give the victim half, keeping the other half for himself, deputies said.
The victim told deputies she wanted to leave sooner, but she had heard Bennett threaten other women who tried to stop, telling one, "he knew where she lived and could make her disappear." She knew Bennett had a copy of her ID and therefore her address.
Deputies reviewed copies of the webcam videos and identified the minor, who was 16 at the time. They asked the website for information on who received the checks, which were written to Andrew Bennett, according to the report.
Bennett was arrested Wednesday and charged with a felony of human trafficking a victim under 18 years old and is being held in Orange County jail without bond.