A suburban Boca Raton man is facing criminal charges for allegedly trying to solicit a Central Florida girl for sex and nude photos.
Sean Patrick Kelly, 28, was arrested Wednesday following an investigation by the Palm Beach County State Attorney’s Office sexual predator enforcement unit and the Orlando Police Department. He faces two counts of soliciting a child for unlawful sexual conduct while using computer services or devices.
During Kelly’s initial court appearance Thursday, Circuit Judge Samantha Schosberg-Feur set Kelly’s bail amount at $1 million. Kelly remained in custody at the Palm Beach County Jail on Thursday night.
Michelle Merson, Kelly’s attorney, told the court her client served in the U.S. Navy and was honorably discharged. Merson told The Post at this point they are still gathering evidence and have no further comment at this time.
Police began investigating in November after an Orlando woman reported that inappropriate messages on social media had been sent to her 11-year-old daughter’s cellphone. Through investigative leads, Orlando police traced a screen name from a social media account back to Kelly, according to a probable-cause arrest affidavit.
An undercover police officer reportedly assumed the girl’s identity and continued to communicate with Kelly. The officer allegedly was solicited on at least two occasions, authorities said. On Monday, investigators from the state attorney’s office obtained a search warrant for Kelly’s phone.
An investigator went to Kelly’s place of employment the following day. Kelly allegedly admitted that he asked for nude photos and said he knew the girl was between 11 and 13 years old.
Staff writer Hannah Winston contributed to this report.
Correction: This story previously stated Kelly was represented by the public defender’s office. Kelly has a private attorney, Michelle Merson.