LONGWOOD, Fla. (WOFL FOX 35 ORLANDO) -
A 29-year-old Longwood man is accused of attempted sexual assault on a 9-year-old girl, the attempted killing of her parents, and possessing child pornography after the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Longwood Police said they uncovered a disturbing plot.
They say Shawn Thomas wanted to make a sex tape that he could sell with the child, then kill her.
FDLE Special Agent Daniel Warren said Thomas planned to kill the parents of the girl so that they wouldn’t file a report of a missing child. Warren said the investigation began a week ago when detectives with FDLE’s Cyber High Tech Crime Squad got a tip from a confidential informant that Thomas was planning to lure parents and a young girl to an empty home in Longwood by posing as a film student producing a film or TV show. The FDLE arrest report reveals that Thomas planned to drug the girl in order get her to participate.
“On June 7, he actually attempted to do this, but it was thwarted by the family members,” Warren said.
According to the arrest report, the family traveled from Fort Myers for the meeting, but left after the adults became suspicious. The family reported their concerns to Longwood Police. Warren said the informant was someone who encountered Thomas online and became disturbed then Thomas explained his plan.
Warren said the report from the family, combined with the information from the informant led FDLE to set up a meeting between an undercover officer and Thomas. Warren said Thomas brought a bag of items to the meeting that included a knife, sexual devices, a camera and tripod and plastic sheets.
FDLE and Longwood Police arrested Thomas Thursday night at the house where he was staying in Longwood.
The investigation took a matter of days. Authorities believe that if they had not arrested Thomas he would have tried to carry out his plot this weekend.
He is being held at the Seminole County Jail without bond. Thomas is charged with 12 felonies. The investigation is ongoing and the statewide prosecutor said more charges are pending.