U.S.

Florida Man Accused of Luring Kids Tells Cops He Can’t Recall As He ‘Drinks 18-20 Beers’ Before Talking to Children

A Florida man accused of making sexual advances towards children told cops that he couldn’t recall asking to touch them because of his alcohol consumption.

Arthur Leo Proulx, aged 51, of Ocala, claimed he “normally drinks 18-20 beers” before interacting with children at his home, the Marion County Sheriff's Office said yesterday. The suspect was arrested by major crimes detectives on Tuesday, police confirmed in a release.

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The suspicions came to light after two boys, aged 6 and 7, came forward to claim the suspect made “inappropriate sexual advances” on them while they were at his residence, cops said.  The incidents allegedly took place at the Lindale Mobile Home Park in Silver Springs.

The children indicated it had happened on multiple occasions, WFTV reported.

Detectives said it emerged during their investigation that children in the neighborhood would go to Proulx’s home to play. He “offers them soda to drink and toys to play with,” police said.

The mother of the two targeted children told local deputies she previously allowed her kids to go to the home—but they had recently appeared reluctant to visit. When she asked why, the boys claimed that Proulx had attempted to touch them multiple times while there.

In a statement, police said: “Investigators spoke with the children separately and both...gave multiple accounts of how Proulx would ask them if he could touch their private parts.

“The children always declined his advances, but then Proulx would ask the children to touch his private parts instead, which the children also declined,” the statement continued.

“Detectives then made contact with Proulx, who said that he normally drinks 18-20 beers before interacting with the children and that he could not recall asking to touch them.”

According to the Marion County Sheriff's Office, the suspect later “implied” that whatever the kids had said indeed happened. He admitted “bad thoughts” but denied they were sexual.

Proulx was arrested and charged this week with two counts of lewd and lascivious conduct. He is currently being held in the Marion County Jail on a $10,000 bond, law enforcement stated.

Detectives said attempts are being made to contact the public to find out if Proulx had any other victims in the neighborhood who have not yet come forward. Officials said anyone who has information on potential victims can contact 352-368-3508.

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