- Olivia Hitchcock Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
The man arrested last month after years of reportedly sexually abusing a child now faces dozens of child pornography charges as well, court records show.
Leopoldo Flores Jr., 39, appeared Friday morning before Judge Robert Panse via a video monitor from the Palm Beach County Jail’s West Detention Center, where he is being held without bond in the October case.
Panse set a $1.2 million bond for the 40 new charges the Port St. Lucie man faces. Flores only can post that bond, though, if a judge sets bond in the other case.
The details of the new charges — 20 counts of possession of child pornography and another 20 counts of promotion of sexual performance by a child — were not immediately available Friday.
However, the original arrest report indicates Flores bought the child a cellphone in November 2016 and reportedly sent the child sexually explicit messages and pictures on that phone through the application Snapchat. Messages sent on Snapchat delete after 10 seconds, unless they are saved.
Flores also is accused of coaching the child, now 11, on how to take inappropriate pictures, which he then instructed the child to send to him.
He was Oct. 27 on charges of child cruelty, obscene communication and public-order crimes after the child told a school counselor about the alleged abuse.
The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office arrest report indicates the child didn’t report the abuse earlier because of Flores’ threats. He reportedly said that if the child’s parents found out, they’d send the child to boarding school.
The child also feared Flores, who works in Palm Beach Gardens, because he had a gun. Records indicate he has a concealed-carry permit and frequently keeps a firearm on him.