Lakeland man arrested for sexually abusing children
By WFLA.com web staff
Benjamin Cuadrado's mugshot
LAKELAND, FL (WFLA) -
The Department of Homeland Security is accusing a Lakeland man of a disturbing crime that makes parents cringe.
Investigators say Benjamin Cuadrado admitted to sexually abusing two toddlers and videotaped himself doing it.
He's behind bars and that's exactly where his neighbors and family want him. His family tells News Channel 8 they had no clue this was no going on and that they are sickened by the news.
“I'm at a loss for words right now. I don't know. I've got a seven-year-old in my house right now and I don't know what to say,” Krystal Kirk, neighbor, said.
It's a state of shock across the neighborhood where 40-year-old Benjamin Cuadrado lived what seemed to be a normal life.
“He didn't seem like he was that kind of person, though,” neighbor Charlie Joyce said.
The Polk County Sheriff's Office and Department of Homeland Security together uncovered a case that sickens those who hear the horrific details.
“He needs to be sent to prison and he doesn’t need to be let out,” Arnita Joyce said.
Charged with two counts of capital sexual battery on a child under 12, authorities say Cuadrado sexually abused two young children all while videotaping it.
“We can say that certainly the videos were being shared with other individuals - they were found in the residence during a child exploitation search warrant found in Miami,” said Homeland Security Investigations Acting Special Agent Shane Folden.
“It's not uncommon to find that these individuals regularly share or trade pictures and videos."
Cuadrado admitted to authorities that he sexually abused the victims and recorded it.
In all, HSI agents recovered six videos depicting the acts.
The Homeland Security Investigation agent said clues started coming through the case they were working in Miami.
That's when they started the process of identifying Cuadrado and the children.
Cuadrado is being held at the Polk County Jail. Copyright WFLA 2014. All rights reserved.