Coral Springs Man Charged After Meeting Minor at Broward Mall for Sex: Authorities

Officials said Joseph Gearhart met a child online and traveled to meet that child for sex.

joseph gearhart
Broward Sheriff's Office

A Coral Springs man is being held after he met a child online and met up with that child at Broward Mall for sex, officials said.

Authorities say Joseph Gearhart, 34, used an internet service to communicate with a person he believed to be a minor, according to a Broward Circuit Court affidavit.

He then traveled to Broward Mall, at 8000 West Broward Boulevard, to meet that minor for unlawful sexual conduct, the affidavit said.

Officials said he then attempted to commit lewd and lascivious battery on that minor.

The name of the internet service used to communicate with the minor was not revealed in the heavily redacted affidavit.

Gearhart is charged with lewd and lascivious acts on a victim 12 to 16 years of age, traveling to meet a child after using a computer to solicit consensual, traveling to meet a child after using a computer to lure the child, and using a two-way device to facilitate a felony. Jail records show he is being held on $22,000 bond.

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