FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. (AP) — A U.S. Customs and Border Protection officer who works at a South Florida airport fondled a 16-year-old girl and tried to take pornographic photos of her, authorities said.
Fabio Lopez, 61, was charged Wednesday with engaging in sexual activity with a minor and attempting to produce child pornography, according to federal court records. He made his first appearance Wednesday in Fort Lauderdale federal court.
Lopez met the teenage girl through her mother, according to a criminal complaint affidavit. While on duty at Miami International Airport last year, Lopez allegedly stopped the mother as she was about to board an international flight, authorities said. Lopez requested the mother’s cell phone number, which she gave him.
Authorities said Lopez and the woman developed a friendship. He visited the mother at home, where he met the 16-year-old daughter. Lopez developed a relationship with the teen over about eight months that eventually progressed to Lopez fondling the child and offering to pay her money to let him take pornographic pictures of her, investigators said. The girl told her mother, who contacted law enforcement.
A pretrial detention hearing is set for March 16, followed by an arraignment March 25.