A Jacksonville firefighter has been arrested after being accused of having sex with a teen girl he met on Facebook.
Ladarius Berry, 25, faced a Broward County judge Thursday in a prison jumpsuit for a charge of unlawful sexual activity with a person 16 or 17 and one count of traveling to accomplish that act.
According to the arrest report, the girl said she met Berry on Facebook about a year ago when she was 16.
The girl said Berry would have conversations with her that were “sexual in nature.”
“Those allegations are shocking when they’re of that nature, so yeah, it’s something you don’t want to see in relation to firefighters,” Jacksonville Association of Firefighters President Randy Wyse said.
The teen said in March, Berry picked her up from her school in Broward County and the two had sex in his car.
Trending on ActionNewsJax.com:
- Transgender teen fights for new home
- 1 dead, 2 missing in boating accident in Brunswick
- Crocodile drags camper from tent while he was sleeping
- Lawyer: Engine and battery off before Florida teens' boat capsized
- Purple fence causing commotion in Mandarin neighborhood
The girl said she “told him several times to stop” but said Berry kept going.
On Wednesday, Berry was given an address where he thought he would be meeting the teen but instead was met by investigators and was placed under arrest.
“This is a technique that is used by law enforcement consistently in these cases,” Action News Jax law and safety expert Dale Carson said. “The response is basically a confession to what we would call the prior events so when he shows up at the house thinking he’s going to re-engage with this young lady of course he’s met by law enforcement.”
Wyse said the department is waiting for the criminal investigation to be complete before making a decision about Berry’s employment.
"There’s due process, “Wyse said. “Make sure all the facts are there. In the end, the truth will come out.”
Carson said Berry faces a first-degree felony and could face up to 30 years in prison if convicted.
Cox Media Group