- Associated Press - Friday, April 10, 2020

TAVARES, Fla. (AP) - A Florida deputy tried to convince three teenage girls that he met through work to perform in pornographic videos, authorities said.

Lake County Deputy Jose Manual Rodriguez, 37, was arrested Tuesday and charged with three counts of solicitation to commit sexual performance by a child, the Orlando Sentinel reported. Rodriguez has been suspended with termination proceedings underway, according to a sheriff’s office news release.

Rodriguez met the girls while working as a deputy and initially recruited them to work for him in his off-duty job as a compliance inspector for the ISN Corp, investigators said. The company contracts with the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to check for underage sales of tobacco. The girls were 16 and 17 when the alleged incidents occurred from 2016 to 2019, authorities said.

Rodriguez also asked the three teens to make pornographic videos for money, investigators said. Rodriguez allegedly told them he knew someone who made underground porn videos and that they could make $500 to $800.

None of the girls said they agreed to make the videos. One of the teens reported Rodriguez to Clermont police, and the sheriff’s office began an investigation. During an interview with detectives, Rodriguez confirmed his employment with ISN and that he had recruited teenagers for that job but would not answer further questions, official said.

An ISN statement said the company is working with the Lake County Sheriff’s Office.

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