LAKE WORTH BEACH, Fla. — The Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office has a urgent message for Lake Worth Beach parents after a teen was kidnapped and sexually assaulted.
Osvaldo Vicente, 52, remains in jail with no bond, but the sheriff’s office believes other victims may be out there.
According to a probable cause affidavit, on July 6, a 14-year-old and his younger brother were headed to the Lake Worth Beach Public Library when Vicente offered to pay one of them "some bucks" to "cut grass and pick-up trash."
The 14-year-old took the offer. But he told investigators, once inside Vicente's car, Vicente touched on his face, chest, thighs, and groin during the ride and was told not to tell anybody or risk never being brought back to his family.
Investigators say when the vehicle stopped at a red light at the intersection of S. Congress Avenue and W. Atlantic Avenue, the teen ran inside a Chevron gas station, where the clerk called 911. PBSO also says Vicente pulled into the Shell gas station across the street before driving away.
Detectives used surveillance footage from within Lake Worth Beach and at the Chevron station to track down Vicente. He’s now charged with lewd and lascivious molestation, exhibition, kidnapping, and interference with custody.
While parents who live and work near the scene of the kidnapping expressed their concerns to WPTV, Ben D. Taylor, PhD., a licensed mental health counselor with B & K Counseling Services of the Palm Beaches says many more cases still go unreported. His office counsels and provides sex offender therapy to approximately 300 sex offenders a week in Palm Beach, Okeechobee and St. Lucie counties.
"They got caught and now it’s time to put them on the right path. That’s my purpose in life," said Taylor. "The offenders that we counsel today are the tip of the iceberg, but we all know that below the water line there’s a vast majority of them that haven’t been caught yet. So, it’s a constant effort."
The sheriff’s office worries other victims of Vicente may be out there. Anyone who may have been a victim is urged to contact Crime Stoppers of Palm Beach County at 1-800-458-TIPS.