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Thursday, February 2, 2023

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Haines City Police Department Press Release

Haines City Police Department detectives arrested a Haines City man, described as a “neighborhood taxi” driver and charged him with kidnapping and committing an Unnatural/lascivious act.

Forty-three-year-old Lorenzo De Jesus-Lopez was taken into custody after a 16-year-old girl told detectives that she used De Jesus-Lopez’s ride service several times during the past three years. The girl said that on severaloccasions, the suspect groped her thighs and asked to have sex with her on twooccasions. Each time the teenager said the driver fondled her breasts and she told him “no” and requested he take her back home.

The teen told detectives that on two occasions, when De Jesus-Lopez was driving her home, he took her to a dark construction site against her will, entered the car’s back seat, and attempted to coerce her to have sexual intercourse with him. Both times, the teenager said the driver fondled her breasts against her will and she told him, in no uncertain terms, that she did not want him to touch her and requested he take her back home. Onone occasion, he offered to pay her $600 for sex. The girl said she told him to “stop” and “take me home.”

The victim and her mother reported the incidents to the Haines City Police Department Tuesday, June 21, 2022.

Detectives located De Jesus-Lopez at his home at 7:25 p.m. Tuesday and brought him to the police department, where he first denied touching the victim inappropriately. Later in the interview, De Jesus-Lopez told detectives that he only touched the victim’s breast once in the construction site parking lot.

Interim Haines City Police Chief Loyd Stewart praised the teen’s courage in reporting the incident and advised residents to be careful who they use to obtain rides. “Anyone who thinks it is OK to prey on our city’s young people like this should know that we have ride share program just for you. But it goes straight to the Polk County Jail,” Stewart, said.

Detectives are requesting anyone with any information about other incidents involving the driver to come forward.

De Jesus-Lopez was booked into the Polk County Jail on the following charges:

2 counts of committing an Unnatural or Lascivious Act

2 counts of kidnapping 

2 counts of battery 

1 count of solicitation of prostitution

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