WEST PALM BEACH (CBSMiami) – A former West Palm Beach TV weatherman was arrested Monday at his Wilton Manors home, charged with having sex with two teenage boys.
After being charged with unlawful sexual activity with certain minors, lewd and lascivious battery, computer pornography and child exploitation, Lopicola was led from PBSO headquarters and booked into thePalm Beachjail without bond.READ MORE: Haiti Gang With Past Abductions Blamed For Kidnapping Missionaries
Investigators said the arrests were the result of an investigation that lasted about a year. They said Lopicola had solicited male encounters on Craigslist, claiming to be 18, and apparently connected with two teens in separate incidents.
“I think he’s a good man,” said Lopicola’s Roommate Adrian Roca. “I don’t think he would do this.”
Police said at first, the teens claimed to be of legal age, but the probable cause report claimed Lopicola learned their true ages of 15 and 17 and still had a sexual relationship with them.
According to the probable cause affidavit, text messages between Lopicola and the 15-year-old showed him asking the boy when he turns 16 and states “I really like u! we have a big age difference, I’m a lot older, cud b yor dad. U sure u want an older boyfriend and bigger muscular guy too?”
Investigators said the relationship with the 15 year old came to light when the teen and his family moved out ofFlorida. Investigators got access to his cell phone, where they allegedly found hundreds of sexually themed messages including many from Lopicola.READ MORE: Miami Police Investigate Bomb Threat
One message talked about their relationship.
The relationship with the older teen was revealed when the boy’s mother found Lopicola hiding in the family’s shower. Also saying the two had met on Craigslist, the teen said he had exchanged texts with Lopicola and had met him twice before.
“I can’t believe they are true, but you never know,” said Boardwalk Bar Owner and Lopicola’s former employer Victor Zepka. “If he did something wrong, he should pay for it. I mean I can’t imagine he’d do something like this.”
Lopicola had little to say as he was led away to be booked, responding to a reporter’s questions about his relationships with, “No, it’s accusations.”
Lopicola was set for arraignment in Palm Beach County Court Tuesday, but the hearing was delayed because he did not yet have an attorney. He’s currently being held in the Palm Beach County Jail without bond. He’s scheduled to be back in court Wednesday.
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