The Polk County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 47-year old man after an investigation showed that he had been posing as a 17-year old boy while soliciting nude photos of a local 14-year old girl
Timothy Jacobs of Lakeland was charged Thursday, September 30, 2021, with Directing Sexual Performance by a Child (F2), Using a Computer to Seduce a Child (F3), Use of a Communication Device to Commit a Felony (F2), and Transmitting Material Harmful to a Minor (F3).
Jacobs first made contact with the victim in March of 2020 via the social media app Snapchat, and they began chatting with each other. During these chats, Jacobs told the victim he was 17-years old, and she had informed him that she was 14.
By the end of May of 2020, Jacobs started requesting nude photos of the victim, which she eventually provided. Jacobs began sending her nude photos of himself.
On October 17, 2020, Jacobs drove to the victim’s house, and when he arrived the victim was in the yard with her step-father. As the step-father shook Jacobs’ hand, he realized that Jacobs was definitely not a teenager, and told the victim to go in the house. Jacobs got back into his vehicle and left.
The victim’s mother began reviewing cell phone bills and found that one particular phone number had been associated with her daughter’s phone.
Utilizing an online search, she found that the phone number belonged to Timothy Jacobs. Further research turned up an address and the name of Jacob’s wife, who happened to be a friend of the victim’s mother.
The woman then reached out to her friend and confirmed that the phone number belonged to Timothy Jacobs. Jacobs’ wife also said that Timothy obtained a new phone number earlier that day.
The victim’s mother contacted the Polk County Sheriff’s Office and reported everything that she knew about the case, and an investigation began.
After a process of interviews, subpoenas to Snapchat, search warrants, and collection of evidence, Timothy Jacobs was arrested Thursday at his home and transported to the PCSO Sheriff’s Processing Center.
“The actions of this sick manipulator have not only caused a tremendous amount of grief for the victim’s family, but to his own family as well. These were textbook tactics used by predators to groom young victims. And this is another example of why parents need to monitor their child’s activities on social media, games, and cell phones.” – Grady Judd, Sheriff