ORMOND BEACH, Fla. (FOX 35 WOFL) - A man in Ormond Beach has been arrested for allegedly plotting to groom and rape a 3-year-old child with another man.
On Wednesday, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office reported that they arrested an Ormond Beach man on charges of conspiracy to commit sexual battery on a child. The arrest was made after deputies discovered of a series of text messages containing a plot to groom and rape a 3-year-old child.
They said that 37-year-old Lafe Best was arrested Tuesday evening and taken the Volusia County Branch Jail. He remains there without bond.
His arrest stems from another case in Ormond Beach involving Best's friend and partner, 39-year-old Benjamin Worster. Deputies said that Worster was arrested by Ormond Beach police in January on charges of lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct and 21 counts of possession of child pornography.
That case was prompted by the discovery of text messages on Worster's phone, the Sheriff's Office said. The 3-year-old victim and her mother had moved into Worster's apartment on Hand Avenue in December. Soon, the 3-year-old girl told her mother that Worster had touched her.
Then, on December 17th, deputies said that Worster was taken to the hospital after an apparent overdose. The victim's mother found his phone lying on his bed. This is when she discovered a text message thread with someone named 'Lafe,' as well as a sickening description of a plan to groom and rape the 3-year-old girl, whether she was conscious or not.
Below is the Facebook post revealing the arrest by the Volusia County Sheriff's Office. The post contains some of the texts exchanged between Worster and Lafe.
WARNING: These texts are extremely graphic.
On Friday, the State Attorney's Office reportedly notified a sheriff's detective of Best's involvement in the Worster case. The Volusia County Sheriff's Office took over the investigation and conducted a search warrant at Best's residence. They discovered what appeared to be child pornography on his cell phone, in addition to his texts with Worster.
Best was said to be living in a home with two people who have a child who is about 20-months-old. Deputies do not believe that the child was a victim of any abuse, but authorities will follow up as the investigation continues.
About two weeks after the arrest of Best, the Volusia County Sheriff's Office reported that Best has been charged with 11 counts of possession of sexual performance by a child. He remains in custody at the Volusia County Branch Jail with no bond.