On March 1, 2021, PCSO Special Victims Unit detectives arrested 28-year-old Daniel Fehringer of Lakeland and charged him with lewd battery on a minor (F2), two counts of transmission of harmful material to a minor (F3), and resisting a law enforcement officer without violence (M1). Fehringer, a convicted felon, is currently being held in the Polk County Jail with no bond.
According to the affidavit, the 15-year-old victim’s mother discovered inappropriate text, Snapchat, and Facebook messages, including a graphic photo from Fehringer on her daughter’s cell phone. She immediately contacted the Sheriff’s Office. When detectives spoke with the 15-year-old victim, she said that she and Fehringer had been “texting each other in a sexual manner, and he had sent her pictures of his penis.” She also admitted to performing oral sex on Fehringer.
Fehringer admitted that he knew the victim was only 15-years-old, but he denied the charges stating that he and the victim were “just friends.” During a search of Fehringer’s devices, detectives discovered deleted nude photographs of Fehringer, and that is when the suspect admitted to sending the image to the victim.
Fehringer has been to prison twice; once for attempted burglary, attempted escape, and battery on a law enforcement officer, and the most recent time (release date was 9/14/2020) was for two counts of battery and battery on a law enforcement officer. His criminal history includes 12 felonies and 17 misdemeanors, to include charges of domestic violence battery, drug possession, trespassing, criminal mischief, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, keeping a vehicle for drug use, violation of probation and failure to appear.
“Parents and guardians are the first line of defense when it comes to keeping children safe from sexual predators like this guy. I’m proud of this mother for taking a closer look at her daughter’s cell phone and social media accounts and preventing this horrible act from becoming any worse than it already was. Parents, put parental controls on your child’s devices and check them regularly. This is the only way you can ensure they are safe online.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff