Cocoa Beach man charged with meeting child for sex in Volusia County

A 29-year-old Cocoa Beach man who investigators say used a social media app aimed at children and traveled to Deltona to have sex with a 12-year-old girl, was arrested over the weekend.

Volusia County Sheriff’s undercover agents took Brandon Keith Donato into custody after surrounding his car at gunpoint late Saturday in Deltona. Donato was charged with two counts of lewd or lascivious battery on a child, showing obscene material to a minor, promoting the sexual performance of a child, using a computer to solicit a child, and traveling to meet after using a computer to solicit a child, records show.

“Today, thanks to the quick work of everyone involved in this case, there’s one less predator out there exploiting the same apps our kids use,” Volusia County Sheriff Mike Chitwood said. “Unfortunately, there are many more waiting for their own opportunity. Everyone should take the time and make the effort to protect our kids from predators who want to steal their childhood.”

Donato was being held Sunday at the Volusia County Branch Jail on $350,000 bail, records show.

Deputies said Donato told detectives that he thought the child was older. The girl was the same person he had texted previously using the Wink social app and had sexual contact with twice over the past week, agents said.

The girl’s family learned about the contact after finding her cellphone and locating video of her and a man having sexual relations. The girl identified the man as "Brandon Smith," deputies reported.

Deputies began searching through the child’s texts and reviewed potential social media profiles. Agents then identified the man on the video as Donato. Agents then identified Donato’s vehicle tag with license plate readers on Monday and Wednesday of last week. The times matched the dates given by the 12-year-old, investigators reported. A court date has not been set.

J.D. Gallop is a criminal justice/breaking news reporter at FLORIDA TODAY. Contact Gallop at 321-917-4641 or jdgallop@floridatodan.com. Twitter: @JDGallop.

This article originally appeared on Florida Today: Volusia County deputies charge Cocoa Beach man in child sex case