St. Petersburg, Florida – A St. Petersburg mother hopes her story cautions parents to the dangers social media and sex predators.
Michael Jerome Bradley, 23, was arrested on Friday after being accused of trying to lure her daughter into having sex.
“I unlocked her phone and I discovered a grown man on Facebook trying to befriend her,” said the mother who identified herself only as Caroline to protect the identity of her daughter.
She told 10 News that her 11-year-old daughter defied her order and created a Facebook account- a decision that threatened to drop her squarely into the crutches of an alleged sex predator.
When her daughter signed up on the social media website back in May, she was reportedly contacted by Bradley, who said he wanted to have sex with her.
Caroline discovered her daughter was communicating with the man, called him and warned him to stop messaging the pre-teen, but Bradley allegedly would not stop.
Finally, when Bradley asked for a nude picture of the girl, Caroline decided to set-up a trap.
“I scrolled through the Target paper. I saw a girl in her bra, so I just grabbed my cell phone, took a picture of it and sent it to him,” she said.
In return, Caroline said Bradley sent nude photos to the person he thought was the girl, which was enough evidence for the St. Petersburg Police Department to make an arrest.
When asked how seeing something like that made her feel, Caroline told 10 News she was “very terrified,” before adding, “I just thank God that I got a hold of it when I did. I can only image how far things could have gone if I would not have got a hold of it.”
Bradley is being held at the Pinellas County Jail with a bail of $120,000. He was charged with eight counts of displaying obscene images to a minor and unlawful use of a two-way communication device.