A 26-year-old man and a 63-year-old man who pretended to be his uncle have been arrested on suspicion of using an online dating website to lure a young girl into having sex with them, according to Orange County authorities.
"I hate to say it was consensual because you can’t give consent at 13 but the victim did go with the suspect willingly," said Lt. Jeff Hallock, with the Orange County Sheriff’s Department.
Benjamin Avila, 26, is suspected of using the website Waplog – which boasts that “texting and flirting online has never been so easy” – to meet the girl, whose age has not been released but who is no older than 13.
Investigators said he would meet the girl in cars and homes, including one in Anaheim that he said belonged to his uncle’s.
The girl knew Avil as "Alex Valesquez," and considered him to be her boyfriend, sheriff’s officials said.
He allegedly told the girl if she wanted to keep seeing him, she would have to sex with his uncle, a man authorities identify as 63-year-old Jose Gonzales.
Neighbors said Gonzalez lives in the Anaheim home with his mother and rents out other bedrooms in the house. When asked why her son was arrested, she told NBC4 in Spanish that she did not know anything.
The alleged victim is a student at Trabuco High School in Mission Viejo, more than 25 miles away from Anaheim.
A "concerned parent" tipped off school officials to the possible relationship between the young girl and the two men, investigators said.
Investigators said evidence found in the home leads them to believe the two suspects worked together, using the website that boasts itself as a place to find friendship and love to seek out young girls.
The men were arrested Oct. 24 on suspicion of child molestation of a female 13 years or young, communicating with a minor online, and arranging to meet a minor for a lewd act.
Avila’s bail has been set at $100,000 and Gonzalez’s bail at $1,000,000.
Gonzalez’s bail was set substantially higher, in part, because of a 2000 allegation that he molested a female under 10 years old, officials said. That case was dismissed.
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