Police have arrested a man they say lured a 13-year-old Patterson child into a sexual relationship, Patterson Police Chief Marc Nuno has announced.
Evidence uncovered during the investigation indicated the suspect may have been grooming the victim for human trafficking as well, he confirmed.
Arcardio Lee Lynn, 39, whose residence is listed on jail records as “Illinois,” was arrested in San Mateo, and was handed over to Patterson Police Services Friday morning. He was still listed as in custody as of noon today, Monday, July 1.
Lynn, who has priors for assault with a deadly weapon and resisting peace officers, has been charged with statutory rape, four counts of sending sexually explicit materials to a minor and child endangerment.
Bail has been set at $225,000.
Nuno said the man had sex with the minor on at least one occasion in June, when he drove from San Mateo to pick up the minor at the child’s residence. Police said the suspect drove the minor to a middle school parking lot, where the two engaged in sexual acts. The suspect then allegedly drove the victim back home.
Lynn and the victim communicated via an online site that promotes sexual activity, Nuno said. Police have obtained copies of electronic communications between the man and the child, which were extremely sexually graphic, and contained both images and text.
The Police Chief said that there were numerous indicators throughout the communications that should have made Lynn aware of the victim’s age.
There were also indications that Lynn may have been grooming the minor for human trafficking, Nuno said, although he did not elaborate.
Patterson Police Services Deputy Casey Cooper, who has become a local leader in the fight against human trafficking and other sex crimes, particularly those involving children, worked on the case, along with Det. Talea Martin.
Human trafficking, and sex crimes against children in general, are occurring more frequently in the Patterson area, and every member of the community can help, simply by being alert. Without Permission, a Modesto-based nonprofit that fights human trafficking and assists victims, posted these signs of victims and tactics of traffickers on its website:
Flags of victims
Has an older boyfriend
Carries multiple cell phones
Unexplained bruises or injuries
Tattoos or brands
Sudden change in wardrobe
Loss of interest in school or favorite activities
Tactics of a Trafficker
Separates the victim from friends and family
Bonds through extreme emotional highs (love bombing and praise)
Controls through cell phone, texting, calls & internet tracking
Instills dependency and obedience through fear
Manipulates feelings of guilt, shame and unworthiness
If you or someone you know needs help, call the National Human Trafficking Resource Center at (888) 3737-8888, 24 hours a day, seven days a week. The Without Permission support line is (209) 277-7758. In emergencies, call 911. Patterson Police Services number is (209) 892-5071, option 4.
If you see something, say something.