TAMPA, Fla. - Last October, Edward Torres was arrested with 21 other men during ‘Operation Social Bust’ in Hillsborough County.
He is accused of going online and trying to solicit an undercover detective posing as a 14-year-old girl for sex.
In a virtual court hearing on Wednesday, Torres’ attorney Jonah Dickstein told the judge it was an innocent prank and Torres was just playing along.
"He thought that he was being catfished online. He doesn’t realize it’s police officers, but when they come to his home and interview him he says 'I knew you were fake. I knew you were a guy. I could tell it was a guy’s voice talking to me'. And on the video, the officer says 'yeah that was me that’s true,’" explained Dickstein.
Dickstein and his client were ready to cut a deal with prosecutors and make this go away.
"I’m ready to work it out. He’s already a convicted felon from past events. We can easily work this out," said Dickstein.
However, nothing was decided Wednesday. Instead, Hillsborough Circuit Judge Michael Williams offered another hearing date and candid feedback.
"He’s a little old to be doing pranks at 41," quipped Williams.
Dickstein fired back, "So are the police".
Torres’ next court date is in September.