Sex Offender Arrested After Meeting Teen Online and Posing As Her Friend’s Father When He Picked Her Up and Met Her Mother

Austin Powers Booking Photo

On Wednesday, a man from St. Petersburg, Florida, Austin Lawrence Powers, 26, was apprehended after reportedly meeting a 14-year-old girl on the internet, and traveling to pick her up in an effort to take her back to his home, according to Fox News.

The minor was reported as a runaway back in June 2023. Officers arrived at the girl’s home after responding to the report. During their visit, officials spoke to the teen’s parents, who recently learned she was discreetly speaking to an older man on Snapchat. Officials later discovered that Powers picked her up once and took her to his home. Just days later, the 26-year-old picked the teen up again; however, posed as her friend’s father when he met the teen’s mother. 

When he met the mother, he informed her that he was the father of one of her daughter’s friends. He told the mother that he was taking the victim to his home to play with his daughter. Officials later identified the man, who is a registered sex offender in Florida. Back in 2016, he was taken into custody for a similar encounter. 

The investigation is ongoing and Powers has been charged with traveling to meet a minor and lewd and lascivious molestation.

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