FORT PIERCE, Fla. – A Fort Pierce man is in jail Thursday afternoon, after police say he knowingly had sex with an underage girl.
Police arrested 21-year old Jean Joseph on Wednesday, after detectives say he called 911 on himself.
“It appeared like he was trying to be the good guy, saying ‘I think she’s a minor. I’m not doing anything wrong because I just found out and this should be ok,’” says detective Ludmila Quintao of the Fort Pierce Police Department.
She adds, “The victim said she told him way before he picked her up and he should have known that she was a minor.”
According to detectives, Joseph picked up the teenage girl from her home in Orlando on May 21.
He told police he rented a car and drove to central Florida to get her.
The two met on Facebook, he told detectives, adding that she told Joseph she was 19-years old.
But the victim told detectives she told Joseph she was underage before he left for Orlando.
The teen told police she met Joseph through the social media site two months ago, and told him she was 16-years old before they met in person.
Joseph says he took the victim and her friends to the beach on Memorial Day.
While at the beach, he told police the girls seemed much younger than the age of the victim based on their maturity level.
“He had many clues that she was a minor, but he still decided to have sexual relations with her,” the detective says.
Joseph told detectives the two had sex twice.
Police charged him with lewd and lascivious behavior.
Through their investigation, police discovered the victim was only 14-years old.
Authorities say the Department of Children and Families is also investigating the incident because it appears the child was trying to run away from home.
Detectives say it’s possible Joseph could face more charges.