A West Palm Beach man was arrested in South Florida and is facing multiple charges after being accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl in Michigan.
Genesee County, Michigan, Sheriff Christopher Swanson said 22-year-old Peter Pejic, preyed on the girl for days via Instagram and told her he would pay her in cryptocurrency through gaming and chat apps.
According to Swanson, Pejic rented a car, drove up to Flint, Michigan, picked her up, and then took her to a hotel and sexually assaulted her.
Swanson said he then returned to Florida.
The sheriff’s office was notified after the young girl was taken to a hospital. The sheriff said this is not the only incident in which Pejic is suspected.
“At that point, our investigation showed that not only did he do it in Flint, Michigan, but he also, from then till now, flew to Washington state and assaulted a 16-year-old and then went from Washington to Oregon and assaulted a 14-year-old,” Swanson said.
Pejic was taken into custody Sunday and flown back to Michigan, where Swanson met him at a Detroit airport.
Somi Ali works with No More Tears, an organization that works with people who have been trafficked.
“South Florida is, unfortunately, the hub of human trafficking,” she said. “It’s a big problem.
Palm Beach County ranks third in the state for trafficking incidents.
“We’ve had kids as young as 2-years-old that were being trafficked on the dark web,” Ali said. “So, it’s bringing in over $160 billion a year. It’s a huge business and it’s growing. It’s a pandemic.”
Officials will continue their investigation into Pejic and other possible victims.