SANFORD, Fla. — A 60-year-old church drummer is behind bars after he was accused of paying a 16-year-old girl for sex, a regional law-enforcement agency announced Wednesday.
- Investigators: Man wanted girl to get fake ID showing she was 19
- MBI says suspect paid 16-year-old runaway $80 after sex
- Agents allege Antone Affrunti and girl met on dating app
Antone Affrunti, a drummer at True Life Church Lake Mary, is being held at the Orange County Jail on charges of human trafficking for commercial sexual activity with a child and soliciting a child for sex.
Suspects found guilty of human trafficking face a maximum sentence of life in prison. The soliciting charge is a second-degree felony punishable by up to 15 years in prison.
Messages to the church were not immediately returned.
Agents said the Sanford man and the teen met on a dating app.
Affrunti, who also has a photography business, was arrested Tuesday after an investigation by the Metropolitan Bureau of Investigation. MBI fights narcotics, vice, and organized crime in Orange and Osceola counties.
A sergeant with the Osceola County Sheriff’s Office met the teen during an unrelated investigation.
The officer, who suspected the girl was being “groomed/engaged” for human trafficking, reached out to the MBI.
Agents began monitoring her social media activity in February. MBI said evidence surfaced in April that the girl was in contact with Affrunti. Agents said she spent a night at his home.
He gave her a salami sandwich and glass of moscato, investigators said.
“She woke up to him taking photos of her and having sex with her in his bed, with [the girl] unaware of how she got in the room or bed,” a report said.
He paid her $80. Then he drove her back to a hotel where she was living.
“After the encounter, despite being repeatedly told she was 16, he tried to entice her and recruit her to again engage in sexual activity with him and obtain false documentation as to her age to protect him from going to jail,” MBI said.
Affrunti asked her to produce “sexually explicit photographs including nudes, bondage, and bondage shots, without showing her face, in exchange for money,’’ agents said.
He wanted her to get a fake birth certificate or some other type of identification that showed she was older.
“He also told her to make a video saying her name, that she liked or loved him, and that she was 19,” agents said. “He texted her he is a healthy Italian with the energy of a five year old. He wants cuddling, kissing, spooning and sex and is worried she can’t keep up.”
Affrunti went to an unidentified hotel in Orange County on Tuesday for what he thought was a meeting with the girl. Instead, officers arrested him on an outstanding warrant.