LAKELAND, Fla. (WFLA) — A Florida man faces criminal charges after admitting to the sheriff’s office that he molested a child under 10 numerous times, according to a release.
Detectives arrested Eric Roe, 32, Monday after investigating claims that Roe molested an 8-year-old girl he had “custodial access to.” The child’s mother contacted authorities that afternoon, saying her child told her Roe molested the young girl.
The sheriff’s office said when she confronted Roe, he admitted to touching her child inappropriately in an “animalistic” manner and said he was ashamed of it.
“A crime such as this is absolutely sickening,” Polk County Sheriff Grady Judd said. “The victim is so young, and the perpetrator is in a position of trust. He was someone the child should have been able to look up to.”
The mother told the sheriff’s office that Roe left with a gun and was acting in a suicidal manner. Deputies found him at the Gator Creek Reserve with the gun and some ammunition.
Roe told detectives in an interview that he molested the child around five times since the victim was 4 years old until she was 8, but he later said it was eight to 10 times.
“He actually made a statement that the victim would need psychological counseling … ‘for what we did together,” Judd said. “Uh-uh, not for ‘what we did together.’ That baby will need psychological counseling for what you did to her.”
Judd said Roe even told the victim to keep the molestation a secret.
“The most we can do with him, legally, is lock him on a capital felony, and hopefully he’s convicted and spends the rest of his life in prison,” the sheriff said.
Roe was booked into the Polk County Sheriff’s Office Processing Center on Sexual Battery by Custodian and Lewd/Lascivious Molestation.