Florida Man Charged with Tying Up Two Girls With Tape, Molesting One of Them

A Florida man has been charged after he was accused of restraining two underage girls by tying them up with tape and molesting one of them.

Gabriel Vertiz, 39, was arrested on Thursday at a construction site in Hillsborough County, Florida, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office said in a news release.

Vertiz is accused of abusing two girls under the age of 13 who are both "known and familiar" to him, according to the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office said Vertiz is accused of sexually abusing one of the victims more than once. "He is accused of sexually abusing the juvenile by binding her with tape and touching her inappropriately on more than one occasion" in that case, the sheriff's office said. It was not immediately clear how many times that victim had allegedly been abused.

In the second case, he is accused of using tape to bind the girl, but "not touching her in a sexual manner," according to the sheriff's office.

The sheriff's office said a child protection team had conducted interviews with both of the victims and their family members. Detectives have also executed a search warrant at Vertiz's home and gathered physical evidence for further investigation.

Deputies then arrested Vertiz at a construction site where he was working on Thursday and took him into custody.

Vertiz, of DeLand, Florida, is charged with false imprisonment of a child under 13 with lewd and lascivious assault; lewd or lascivious molestation and false imprisonment of a child under 13.

He was booked into the Hillsborough County Jail where he remained held with no bail, according to the sheriff's office. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office has been contacted for additional comment.

Gebrial Vertiz
Gabriel Vertiz, of DeLand, Florida, is charged with false imprisonment of a child under 13 with lewd and lascivious assault; lewd or lascivious molestation and false imprisonment of a child under 13. Volusia County Sheriff's Office

According to the Rape, Abuse And Incest National Network (RAINN), child sexual abuse is a widespread problem—with child protective services substantiating or finding evidence for a claim of child sexual abuse every nine minutes.

One in 9 girls and 1 in 53 boys under the age of 18 experience sexual abuse or assault at the hands of an adult and 82 per cent of the victims are female, according to RAINN.

The non-profit says that usually the perpetrators are known to the victim. In 93 per cent of cases reported to law enforcement, the victims know the perpetrator, an acquaintance in 59 per cent of cases and a family member in more than a third.

Florida Man Charged with Tying Up Two Girls With Tape, Molesting One of Them | U.S.