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Deerfield Beach man accused of sexually battering 2 teens, Coconut Creek police say

Broward County man accused of sexually battering 2 teenage girls may have more victims, police say
Broward County man accused of sexually battering 2 teenage girls may have more victims, police say 02:16

COCONUT CREEK — A man who was arrested for allegedly sexually battering two teenagers in Broward County this month may have more victims, police stated.

The Coconut Creek Police Department is investigating to see whether 22-year-old Ternell Cartagena of Deerfield Beach may have assaulted more people. He is currently charged with two counts of sexual battery of a juvenile, along with two counts of lewd and lascivious behavior, online solicitation of a child, and several other crimes. He has been held at Broward County Jail since his arrest on February 9, CCPD stated.

Man accused of sexually battering two teens, Coconut Creek police say 02:07

According to the probable cause statement from court records, police responded to a sexual battery allegation at a home on February 6. Upon arrival, police spoke with the parents of one of the victims, who had found evidence that suggested she had sex with an unidentified 19-year-old man three times back in January. The father told police that he and his ex-wife -- the victim's mother -- were made aware of the situation by the mother of one of their daughter's friends. From there, text messages then revealed that the victim and the unknown male -- who had gone by the nickname of "Nuk" -- suggested that they had sex around the days the parents were told of, the probable cause statement wrote.

The father told police that he had questioned his daughter about the allegations before calling the police, and at that time, she began to cry "in fear of what the consequences could be," but ultimately told her father the truth of the situation. She also told her father that she met "Nuk" through an unidentified friend back in January and that they did previously have sex.

According to the probable cause statement, the father then told police that he had seen the texts between his daughter and "Nuk" because her iPhone was connected to an iPad of theirs via iCloud, revealing "explicit text messages" like offering and asking for sex, photos, videos of various genitalia, meeting up and the like. These texts conservations went on for at least three weeks.

Then on February 7, police met with another victim's mother to discuss the previous incident. During the interview, the second victim attempted to delete her texts with "Nuk"; however, all the conversations were backed up to another iPad via iCloud.

That same day, police then met up with another victim's mother to investigate further, finding out that she had taken away the victim's phone because she had gotten into trouble at school. According to this mother, she found out about the situation when she looked through the text messages and found the conversation with "Nuk," prompting her to call police.

According to the probable cause statement, police then spoke with the victims, where they described what "Nuk" looked like and what car he drove, mentioning that they had oral sex with him in his car back in January.

Then on February 8, one of the victims met with police at the station to give an official statement.

According to the probable cause statement, the victim and another unidentified person were hanging out at the Coconut Creek Promenade, and wanted to vape. So, she called her ex-boyfriend, who later showed up with two other boys -- one of which was "Nuk" -- and paid "Nuk" $50 via Apple Pay to buy vape pens. "Nuk" then bought the vape pens and exchanged phone numbers with the victims "in case they wanted to purchase other illicit drugs."

Later that night, "Nuk" texted the victim, asking if she wanted to hook up with him. According to the victim, she was hesitant about meeting up because she knew he was older than her, so she asked her friend to come with her since they were both interested in "Nuk." According to the probable cause statement, "Nuk" eventually met up with the victim and her friend, picked them up and drove them to a parking lot of an apartment complex, where they had oral sex.

The interaction then became more intimate, and "Nuk" began asking about their age because it seemed like he was "getting scared"; however, the victims reassured him that "nobody's going to find out," the probable cause statement wrote.

A couple of days later, "Nuk" texted one of the victims, asking for sex but she declined. He then said that he wanted to bring in two other men to have sex with her and her friend in exchange for nicotine and marijuana, but she declined again and said it was a "bad idea." According to the victim, "Nuk" tried to convince the victim more, saying that her friend "really liked" him and "wanted to do more," before teasing him and calling him a "pedophile" -- even sending him a screenshot of a Google definition of pedophilia, though she was attached, the probable cause statement wrote.

Police then met with the victim's friend, who told them that she had snuck of her father's home at that time to meet up with the victim and confirmed all the details mentioned in her friend's statement.

According to the victim's friend, after she and the victim had oral sex with "Nuk," they dropped off the friend and then proceeded to drive to another location and stopped in another parking lot. There, he asked her to undress before putting on a condom and begin having sex with her before stopping at the sight of a police car.

The next day, the victim's friend snuck out of her father's home to meet up with "Nuk" to have sex. According to her, she purchased some weed from "Nuk" before driving off to a parking lot near the friend's home, where they had unprotected sex after smoking, the probable cause statement wrote. He then dropped her off early the following morning.

Over the next few days, the victim's friend continued texting each other and at one point, even had "Nuk" sneak into her bedroom to have unprotected sex while her family was asleep.

According to the probable cause statement, the victim's friend and "Nuk" continued texting each other. At this point, "Nuk" asked her if she wanted to participate in a threesome with older people, confiding in her his sexuality and sending her explicit photos of other people's genitalia. During one of those days, "Nuk" even offered her weed in exchange for sex with an unknown man when she asked for a marijuana pen, the probable cause statement wrote.

After interviewing the victims and gather evidence from them, police were then able to identify "Nuk's" car and identified him as Cartagena. During one of the victim's Facetime calls with "Nuk," she took a screenshot and police were able to confirm from his learners permit and the picture that he was Cartagena. Police also had a photo lineup for the victims, to which they were also to confirm that Cartagena was "Nuk," the probable cause statement wrote.

According to CCPD, Cartagena appears to have had contact with other minors before his arrest, based upon the evidence at this time as detectives continue their investigation.

Anyone with information can call CCPD at (954) 973-6700.

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