Ormond Beach, Florida - A man is in jail on charges of conspiracy to commit sexual battery on a child after text messages containing a plot to groom and rape a 3 year-old-girl were found.
Benjamin Worster, 39, was arrested in January on child porn charges after a woman found text messages saying Worster planned to rape her daughter.
The woman and her daughter moved into Worster's apartment in a month earlier. After moving in, the three-year-old daughter told her mother Worster had touched her.
Worster was exchanging text messages with another man, Lafe Best, about the plot to groom the 3-year-old girl. One text message read:
“I’m looking up things under an anonymous browser on things that will safely make kids pass out for a couple hours.”
Fox 4 spoke with a few people who read the rest of the text message chain between Best and Worster. The individuals Fox 4 spoke to said they were shocked and sickened by the messages.
"As a parent and a grandmother, you just these days you cannot leave your children your babies,” said Ann Kioschos.
"Having nephews and nieces, thinking about having somebody wanting to do these kinds of things to them just I don’t know...it’s creeps me out,” said Pearl.
According to the SWFL Child Advocacy Center, in 2018, 300,000 child abuse cases were reported in Florida.
"It’s certainly we see every day, it’s always alarming, but all too common,” said Sally Beckett, the CAC Program Director.
Beckette says 13% of those children are 1 year old or younger, and 38% are less than 4 years old. According to Beckette there are ways to protect your kids.
She says one option is minimizing isolation with people, and avoid one on one interactions. Secondly, talk about sex, she says parents should become comfortable with talking about where to touch and not to touch with kids. Lastly, react responsibly and understand how to respond to risky behavior.
"This isn’t just for your own children, it’s for all children. We as a society have an obligation to protect children so certainly look for these signs to protect children as well,” Beckette said.