Man accused of trying to pay 14-year-old for sex
PEORIA, Ariz. — The Peoria Police Department said there may be additional victims connected to a man who tried to pay a 14-year-old girl for sex.
Joseph Tejada approached the girl at a library near 85th and Peoria avenues, asked her age and then offered to give her money for sex, police said. He then allegedly gave the girl his phone number and the victim went home and told an adult. The girl then called the police.
Peoria detectives then texted Tejada, pretending to be the 14-year-old, and agreed to meet in Peoria for sex. When he showed up, he was arrested.
“It’s horrifying,” said Erin Alkema, heading into the library Thursday with her 10-year-old daughter Sadie. “I would let my kids just kind of stay in the kid area while I grab a book and come back but…now I don’t know if I would do that.”
Tejada was booked on charges of attempted sexual conduct with a minor, attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, luring a minor for sexual exploitation, child sex trafficking and attempted child sex trafficking.
“It’s some place where you think your kid would be safe,” said Patty Benjamin, who brings her children to the library.
Police said they want all parents, guardians and caretakers to discuss situations like this with their children.
Possible victims or anyone with information about this case is asked to contact the Peoria Police Department in one of the following ways: