Police said a 64-year-old man from Austin, Texas, has been arrested on charges he traveled to Orlando, Florida, to have sex with who he thought was a 9-year-old girl.
Mark Andrew Nichols was arrested Saturday, WFTV reported.
Undercover sex crime detectives created an ad on a website, and Nichols responded to the ad on Sept. 13, investigators said. An internet crimes detective posed as a father and mother as “experienced parents to learn new things about raising little ones,” investigators said.
Orlando police said Nichols explicitly described sex acts he planned to perform with the child, according to emails and texts he sent to the detective posing as the girl and her parents.
Police said in an arrest affidavit that their investigation of Nichols began when he responded to the online ad.
According to the affidavit, police said Nichols set up a meeting with the parents in Orlando. Upon Nichols’ arrival in Florida on Saturday, he was met instead by arresting police officers.
At the time of his arrest, Nichols had Sour Patch Kids candy, a bag of Skittles and a bottle of lubricant, investigators said.
Nichols has been charged in Florida with attempted sexual battery of a child younger than 12, attempted lewd or lascivious conduct, solicitation of a minor via computer, obscene communication and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.
He remained in a Florida jail Monday morning with bail on the combined charges set at $1,500, but a hold has been placed on his case to keep him in custody, Orange County jail records show.
Thank you for reading the Springfield News-Sun and for supporting local journalism. Subscribers: log in for access to your daily ePaper and premium newsletters.
Thank you for supporting in-depth local journalism with your subscription to the Springfield News-Sun. Get more news when you want it with email newsletters just for subscribers. Sign up here.