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Alleged rapist who followed 14-year-old girl to hotel room thought it was ‘OK’ to sexually assault her because they had exchanged glances earlier: Report

A 23-year-old man is accused of raping a 14-year-old girl at a beachside Florida resort Saturday after following her to the hotel room she was staying in.

According to News 6 Orlando, Authorities announced Monday that Nelson Hernandez-Garcia, of Woodstock, Georgia is charged with sexual battery of a victim 12 years or older in the case.

The suspect reportedly told detectives that he felt it was “OK” to follow the girl because he had exchanged glances with her at the resort’s swimming pool, Daytona Beach Shores police reportedly told News 6 Orlando.

Officials responded to a call from the El Caribe Resort at about 5 p.m. Sunday after the teen told her mother about the alleged assault.

“We just had a guest tell us that their daughter was um, she believed that she was raped,” a hotel manager reportedly said in a 911 call obtained by News 6.

While on an elevator heading to her hotel room, the girl told officials that Garcia “came on to her” and groped her. After getting off of the elevator, the teen ran to her hotel room and shut the door before hearing footsteps approach. Thinking it was her parents, the victim opened the door—only to find Garcia reportedly pushing his way into her room before removing her clothes and raping her.

Authorities said they were able to identify the suspected rapist because he had either called or texted himself with the child’s phone following the assault. After he texted her hours later, the girl responded with a text telling him she was only 14-years-old and to leave her alone, according to police.

A detective posing as the girl through a text was able to get Hernandez-Garcia to return to the hotel, where he was subsequently arrested, the Daytona Beach News-Journal reports.

According to a police report obtained by the news outlet, Hernandez-Garcia said he wasn’t aware the teen was only 14, despite detectives showing him the text from the girl stating her age. He did, however, identify himself in surveillance video capturing him following the victim.

Online jail records show Hernandez-Garcia as being behind bars without bond at the Volusia County Jail.

 

[Feature photo: Nelson Hernandez-Garcia, Volusia County Jail]