Austin Altman

Austin Altman

Pasco County Sheriff’s Office

A 22-year-old Florida man was arrested and charged with sexual battery on a victim under 12 after detectives say he raped a 10-year-old that he met on Snapchat, a popular social media site.

Austin Altman, who was also charged with interference with child custody and violation of probation, was being held in a Pasco County jail with no bond.

The Hernando County Sheriff’s Office began investigating after a report came in Saturday morning that a 10-year-old was missing. A family member told police she was last seen in the home at about 3 a.m. when she went to the bathroom.

By 6:40 a.m., the girl was missing, the sheriff’s office said. After looking for her without any success, the family called 911. The sheriff’s office said detectives learned from a friend of the 10-year-old that “the girl was seen on Friday talking to a male in a red truck.”

“The girl told friends she planned on running away with a person she met on Snapchat, a popular social media platform,” the department wrote in a social media post.

Turns out, a deputy had made contact with the driver of the red truck after a report of a suspicious vehicle near where the girl lived. The driver of the truck was identified as Altman, the department said.

Investigators in Hernando County then reached out to the Pasco Sheriff Office to pay a visit to Altman, who lives in the 16000 block of Tiger Trail Road.

Altman first told deputies there was no one else in the home, but a search revealed that the girl was in his bedroom.

According to the Pasco County arrest report, Altman raped her even though she told him to stop four times. The girl told deputies he held her down “with his hand on her throat,” a deputy wrote in the report.

Altman, according to the report, later told deputies he met her on Snapchat and had sex with her.

Hernando County Sheriff’s Office said Altman is facing additional charges.

Records show Altman was placed on probation in 2012 when he was a juvenile.

Carli Teproff grew up in Northeast Miami-Dade and graduated from Florida International University in 2003. She became a full-time reporter for the Miami Herald in 2005 and now covers breaking news.

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