Miami Beach Man Accused of Having Sexual Relationship With Minor

Police said they found messaged referencing sexual activity with a 36-year-old man in a 14-year-old boy's phone.

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Miami Beach man is accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage boy, and officials say social media helped them make the arrest. NBC 6’s Christina Hernandez reports.

    A Miami Beach man is accused of having a sexual relationship with an underage boy, and officials say social media helped them make the arrest.

    Police said they started looking for 36-year-old John William Ritchie after the victim's mother called police, questioning the man's relationship with her 14-year-old son.

    Detectives searched the boy's computer and found Facebook messages from Ritchie that read: "I love you... You are everything to me... I don't know if this is right but I can't keep you out of my mind... I really need a hug from you... This love for you is killing me."

    Investigators said they also found text messages that referenced prior sexual interactions and a photo Ritchie allegedly sent the boy showing two young boys kissing with a caption that read: "No matter what age, no matter what gender, love is love."

    Before his arrest, police said Ritchie sent the boy a text that said, "Ur mom set me up with the cops. I can't see you again. Sorry."

    Police said Ritchie met the boy in November on South Beach. During questioning, Ritchie denied any sexual relations with the boy, according to an arrest report.

    Ritchie was arrested at 8 a.m. on Wednesday. Attempts to reach family members at his Miami Beach home were unsuccessful.

    Ritchie was charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a child, luring or enticing a child, using technology to communicate with a minor and using technology to arrange a meeting with a child, the arrest report said.

    The man has a prior criminal record that includes charges of marijuana possession and petit theft. It is unclear if he has an attorney.