Authorities foiled a Texas man’s plan to fly to Florida to lure a 9-year-old girl into having sex with him, police say.
Mark Andrew Nichols, 64, of Austin, allegedly attempted to lure the child with a bag of Sour Patch Kids, Skittles, and a bottle of lubricant, WYFF reports.
A detective with the Orlando Police Department hatched a plan to bring Nichols down, posting an advertisement on an e-commerce website posing as the parents of a 9-year-old girl.
The ad, which specifically targeted Nichols, was looking for “experienced parents to learn new things from about raising little ones,” according to the arrest report.
WKMG reports that Nichols responded to that ad the same day it was posted, saying he was “very interested” in the opportunity.
Nichols repeatedly emailed and texted the undercover cops posing as parents for the next week, expressing interest in meeting them, the arrest report states.
Eight days after Nichols made contact, the detective, posing as the girl’s father, replied. The “father” explained that he was trying to expose his 9-year-old daughter to the modeling world and asked Nichols if he had “interests” in her, according to the detective’s report.
“When you say interests, are you asking generally? Or sexually?” Nichols responded to the father.
Nichols, who is married with two young children, allegedly described in his next few messages to the undercover detective explicit sex acts he planned to carry out with the child, the Daily Mail reports.
Nichols added that he wished to take a trip to Orlando to visit the family and made the trip Saturday to meet the girl. Police arrested him once he met the undercover cops at the designated address.
Nichols faces multiple charges, including attempted sexual battery on a child under 12 years of age, attempted lewd conduct, solicitation of a minor via electronic means, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, and obscene communication.
He is being held in the Orange County Jail on $1,500 bond, but authorities placed a hold on his case to keep him behind bars.