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Ormond Beach Observer Wednesday, Feb. 6, 2019 8 months ago

Two men arrested in plot to rape Ormond Beach toddler

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The plot was discovered by the girl's mother, who read the graphic texts exchanged between the men.
by: Jarleene Almenas News Editor

Volusia County deputies arrested a 37-year-old man from unincorporated Ormond Beach after discovering he was involved in a plot to rape a three-year-old girl.

Lafe Best's arrest stems from a related case in Ormond Beach involving 39-year-old Benjamin Worster, who was arrested by Ormond Beach Police in January on charges of lewd or lascivious molestation, lewd or lascivious conduct and 21 counts of possession of child pornography, VCSO reports. Worster, who is Best's friend and sexual partner, had been allegedly planning to rape the three-year-old girl, and detailed plans to do so in text messages he sent to Lafe.

The girl and her mother had recently moved in with Worster at his apartment on Hand Avenue, and soon after, the girl told her mother Worster had touched her, VCSO reports. The text messages on his phone were discovered on Dec. 17 when Worster was taken to the hospital after an apparent overdose, and the girl's mother looked through his phone. 

The graphic texts exchanged between Lafe and Worster detail plans to "groom" the girl for rape, drugging her, as well as describe the sexual acts they'd like to perform on her. One text from Worster to Lafe reads, "Might invest on some small spy cams for changing and bathtimes also." Another reads, "the videos will show her that's what girls her age are supposed to do."

A text from Lafe to Worster reads,"I'd prefer awake if we can manage it without repercussions," in response to Worster saying "knocked out or awake" made no difference to him.

Worster told detectives the texts were "just foreplay" meant to work Lafe up before hooking up with him, according to Lafe's arrest affidavit.

Best was living in a home with two people and a 20-month-old child, VCSO reports. While it's not believed that child is a victim of any abuse, the investigation is ongoing, and additional charges are expected as evidence is forensically examined. 

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