Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Fernando Soto - Repeat Sex Offender - "Come here kids, " he said

A registered sex offender is in jail after four children said he chased them from house to house inside their gated community and peered into the window of a home where they sought shelter, according to a police report released Tuesday.

Fernando Soto, 44, of Sanford faces one count each of aggravated stalking of a minor under 16 years of age, voyeurism and trespassing. Soto denied any wrongdoing.

The attack took place Sept. 5 inside Sanford's The Preserve at Lake Monroe at about 3:45 p.m. The kids, all under the age of 10, had just gotten off the bus near Walnut Crest Run when they spotted a man standing by the mailboxes with his hand in his pocket, according to a police report.

The man chased after them, so they hid in the bushes, they told police. The stalker lost sight of them and returned to his home, so the children ran to one of their houses.

The man spotted them through his open door and followed them. He walked around the residence where the children hid and knocked on the door.

"Come here kids, " the man said, the children told police.

The children ran to another one of their houses and barricaded the front door with a bookshelf and clothes hamper.

There, they used the phone to call for help, while their stalker peered into the house through the kitchen window, the report states.

All four children identified Soto as the attacker through separate photo lineups, according to the report. He was arrested Friday and was being held without bail Tuesday at Seminole County Jail.

Soto lives with his parents inside the gated community. He was registered as a sex offender because of a 1996 case in Baltimore, Md.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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