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Man solicited sex with boy in town for Disney trip, Orange County investigators say

10:55 AM, Aug 24, 2013   |    comments
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ORLANDO, Fla. -- A man solicited sex with a teenage boy using a smartphone application, according to investigators in Orange County.

Authorities said the 16-year-old victim was in town with his family on a trip to Walt Disney World.

Rodney Hartsell, 43, was booked into the Orange County Jail on child sex charges.

"Anybody soliciting minors is a problem," neighbor Eddy Lion said.

Lion said he is concerned to know Hartsell is accused of having sex with a minor.

"I got a 16-year-old girl. I've got to keep my eyes open now," Hartsell said.

The victim's sister has a serious heart condition, and the family was staying at Walt Disney World on a charity-sponsored vacation.

Hartsell reportedly struck up an illicit conversation with the teen on a smartphone application that is popular among gay men. The boy convinced his parents to let him go the Magic Kingdom by himself, according to investigators, and then met with Hartsell.

Hartsell took the boy home, snapped naked photos of the boy and had sex with him, according to an arrest report. The victim told Hartsell he was just 16, according to deputies.

Investigators said the boy's father called them when he found the illicit chats and photos on his son's phone.

Hartsell apparently told detectives that he did not remember the specific incident because he had many sexual encounters.

Investigators seized computers and other online material from Hartsell's south Orange County home.

WESH-TV

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