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Palm Coast Friday, Feb. 23, 2018 8 months ago

Man, 19, who was both victim and suspect in 2017 shooting is charged with raping children

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Deputies had Tristan George's phone searched and found evidence of sexual relationships with two underage girls.
by: Jonathan Simmons News Editor

An investigation into a 19-year-old who is both a victim and a suspect in a November 2017 shooting has led to his arrest for a different crime: raping young girls.

Deputies began investigating suspect Tristan George after George and a second man, 21-year-old Michael McRoberts, were both left with gunshot wounds in a shooting at George's home on Seamanship Trail.

When deputies seized George's cell phone and searched it, a forensic analysis found multiple references to George having sexual relations with two girls who were 14 and younger, according to an arrest report.

Videos, photographs and text messages revealed the sexual nature of George's relationships with the girls, according to the report.

One of the girls told a senior case coordinator with a child protection team that she'd met George around the time that Hurricane Irma hit Florida — September 2017 — when she was 12. She bought marijuana from him, and he said he was 16. She didn't find out that he was actually 18 until an occasion in which she was removed from his home by law enforcement. 

He "asked her out" after repeatedly picking her up from school and once had intercourse with her after giving her acid, she said. He also had sex with her on two other occasions, gave her marijuana daily and took her with him when he conducted drug deals, she told the case coordinator. He also twice gave her a mixture of soda, promethazine and codeine, she said.

Another girl interviewed by a case coordinator said that she was "best friends" with George, because if he was her boyfriend, "it would be illegal."

She said he came over to her home "all the time" and would walk her to school to "protect" her. She told the case coordinator that he'd kissed her, but that they had not dated. She said she knew he was over 18 and that he also knew her age.

Her parents had told her they did not want her having an intimate relationship with George, she said. But evidence from his phone contradicted her claims that he had not engaged in a sexual relationship with her. 

Text messages from people George knew also revealed that they had some awareness of his sexual activities.

On Nov. 1, George's grandmother texted him the address of the county health department, along with the message, "You need to take (child's name redacted) down to the health department. Get birth control for her!" according to the report.

On Nov. 2, 2017, "George's mother texts him that he should stop sleeping with little girls," according to the report.

One of the girls, the same day, texted him that he needed to "stop going for young people."

George replied, "Age should not matter if u love someone." The girl replied, "You can go to jail if ur caught with me."

George, several days later, texted one of the girls that he was going to "tell them I did stuff with u so that they will bring me (to jail)." The girl replied, "No tristan I have to stop seeing u."

Deputies made contact with George at his high school on Feb. 22, then arrested him after bringing him to the Sheriff's Operations Center. He is charged with three counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a person 12-16 years of age and two counts of contributing to the delinquency of a minor, and he is being held on $40,000 bond. 

Additional charges are pending, according to a Sheriff's Office news release. The shooting is also still under investigation.

“He preyed on vulnerable children, and it is our job to protect them,” Sheriff Rick Staly said in the news release. “I’m sure it was difficult for the victim to come forward and tell the truth, but I’m glad that she did in order to get this offender off the streets before he can hurt more children. Our detectives did an outstanding job on this case and I know they will continue to as the investigation carries on. This is also a reminder to parents to get involved with their children and know what is occurring on their cell phones and computers."

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