Update: Police now say the suspect was not a registered sex offender. This post was edited at 6 a.m. Wednesday.
NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – A man has been arrested in the Bronx and is accused of holding a 15-year-old boy in his apartment to perform sex acts while recording the encounters.READ MORE: Amid COVID Setbacks And Mask Mandates, Some Feeling Sense Of Deja Vu
Officers are now looking for more victims as neighbors claim the suspect regularly tried to lure children.
Police sources tell CBS2 Michael Barreto has been charged with sex offenses and child endangerment after officers executed a search warrant of the 31-year-old’s apartment.
Authorities say they were following a missing person’s report for the teen, which started in Manhattan and eventually led them to Barreto and the missing child.
CBSN New York’s Jessica Layton reports that when officers questioned the boy about why he was in the Bronx, he answered he was visiting a friend “Michael.”
Sources tell CBS2 they found pictures and videos of the teen on Barreto’s phone and computer when he was arrested Tuesday morning. They also found video recording equipment and sex toys in the man’s bedroom.READ MORE: Deadline Arrives To Apply For 9/11 Victim Compensation Fund
Investigators added that the 15-year-old told officers he initially met Barreto two years ago while he was selling candy.
The two had met at least twice before Tuesday’s arrest, including one incident where the boy was allegedly molested by Barreto on video.
Young boys in the Bronx apartment building told Layton the suspect would chase them and attempt to lure them into his apartment too.
“He used to follow me and my brother, he used to chase us down,” one boy alleged. “It feels good (that Barreto was arrested) we’re safe now.”
Neighbors claim the 31-year-old tried to entice several youngsters into his apartment by saying they would play video games or watch a movie before the encounter would quickly turn physical.MORE NEWS: Police Seek Burglary Suspect Who Poses As A Repairman
The NYPD is now looking for more victims of Barreto’s advances in this ongoing investigation.