Michael Barberan was arrested Tuesday on charges he tried to convince a 15-year-old boy to prostitute himself, police said. South Miami Police Major Rene Landa spoke about the case.
Police said they believe the after-school basketball coach arrested for trying to get a teenage boy to film him in pornographic videos gained his victim’s trust by promising to help him with his basketball career.
After Michael Frank Barberan, 41, met the boy on Facebook, he gained his trust for four months, police said.
But on Dec. 8, Barberan took the victim to his parents’ southwest Miami-Dade home for some inappropriate coaching that included watching pornographic videos, a police report said.
“He wanted the boy to videotape him having sex with another man and his goal was to sell it to some porno company,” South Miami Police Major Rene Landa said.
Barberan is the founder and CEO of Hoopstars Basketball. Its webpage offers registration for children between ages 8 and 15 for a program called “Jr Hoops” at the Jose Marti Gym, a city of Miami recreation center.
A city representative said that in the last two years an associate of Barberan has been pulling the permits to operate a league at the center, but it was only supposed to be an adult league.
Barberan also tried to convince the boy to prostitute himself, according to Landa.
Landa recounted the story Barberan allegedly told, saying, ”You can make money if you come with me, there's a guy that wants to perform this type of sexual act that will give you $100 for that act.”
Police said the boy's mother didn't like Barberan and followed her gut.
“She got his phone one evening when he was sleeping, reviewed his text messages and saw the sexual explicit messages that this man was sending to this boy,” Landa said.
Barberan faces charges of procuring a person under 18 for prostitution and exposing a minor to harmful materials. He is scheduled to have a court hearing Jan. 17, online Miami-Dade court records say. A defense attorney is not yet listed for his case.