Man accused of luring young girls on Snapchat faces more charges: Edmonton police

Horacio Benitez, 53, has been charged with several sexual and child pornography offences. Edmonton Police Service

More charges have been laid against a 53-year-old man accused of luring teens on social media, Edmonton police said Friday.

In a news release, the Edmonton Police Service said an additional victim came forward after charges were initially laid in the investigation in late March.

At that time, police said they began investigating a report of sexual assault on a young female. Police said that between December 2023 and March 2024, the accused is alleged to have befriended three girls — two 14-year-olds and a 12-year-old — using the social media platform Snapchat. Police said the accused used the username @used2bc.

The man is accused of offering to buy vapes, marijuana and alcohol for the girls in exchange for nude pictures, videos and in-person sexual contact.

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On March 27, police charged Horacio Benitez with several child pornography and sexual assault-related offences.

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Since then, a 15-year-old girl came forward. Police said the girl was 12 years old at the time of the offence.

“An additional youth has bravely come forward, and we are actively working to connect her with resources that we hope will support her healing,” Det. Helena McNalley with the EPS child protection section said in a news release.

As a result, Benitez was charged with additional offences, including sexual assault, sexual interference, sexual counsel of a child, distributing cannabis to a youth, luring a child under 16 and obtaining sex services of a child for consideration.

Police continue to believe there are more victims out there.

“(We) want to assure them that what happened is not their fault and they are not alone. We are here to help and encourage them to reach out to us.”

Police said all of the youth involved in the investigation are being supported by the Zebra Child and Youth Advocacy Centre.

Anyone who believes they have been victimized is asked to contact the EPS at 780-423-4567 or #377 from a mobile phone. Anonymous information can be submitted to Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 or online.

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