Man tries to blackmail teen for sex using Kik app

- Jerry Lee Thomas is just 18-years old, but he's facing some very adult problems.

A Winter Haven woman, who wants to remain anonymous, had her home burglarized last week. She says Thomas reached out to her 15-year-old daughter to help.

Police say the two communicated over the Kik app, where he told the teen he knew who did it, but he wasn't giving up the information for free.

"He texted my daughter explicit stuff...that he knows who took the stuff and where it is and that he would give it up if she would either pay him money or have sex with him," the victim's mother said Wednesday.

The teen said 'no' and gave the phone to her mom, who then called Winter Haven police. Officers were able to pose as the girl, using her phone, to set a meeting with Thomas.

Officers said he was suspicious when the 15-year-old suddenly changed her mind about the barter.

"You can't fix stupid. He knew something wasn't right, yet he was going to throw everything away to go forward with it," Winter Haven Police's Jamie Brown said.

Just minutes after police sent the message, Thomas arrived at the family's doorstep with his cell phone and a condom.

"He must have ran because it's about a 30 minute walk and he was there in about 15 minutes," the mother said.

Wednesday, he appeared before a Polk County judge, facing felony charges for using a computer to lure and seduce a child.

"The things that could have happened, I mean, I'm sorry for his family, but I've got to protect mine," the mother said.

She's also thankful her daughter knew right from wrong.

"You need to know what your kids are doing and who they're talking to," she said.

Jerry Lee Thomas is being held in the Polk County Jail on $50,000 bond. He was on probation and was out on bond for a separate charge at the time of the crime.

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