Man charged with sexual battery on minor

INDIAN RIVER COUNTY — A man was jailed after deputies said he used a dating app to meet an underage boy to perform sexual acts. The 14-year-old boy was able to identify the suspect through a photo lineup, reports show.

Hunter Nicholas Hines

Hunter Nicholas Hines, 33, of the 500 block of Tropic Lane, was charged Saturday with sexual battery on a child over 12, lewd lascivious battery and traveling to meet a minor for a criminal act. Hines was held Friday at the Indian River County Jail on $300,000 bond.

The incident happened in the afternoon on Nov. 7, 2022. The boy told deputies he exchanged messages with a man, later identified as Hines, using the Grindr app, reports show.

The boy told Hines he was 14, but the two still agreed to meet up, deputies said. The boy said Hines picked him up and drove him to a lot not far from the teen’s home.

Hines stopped the vehicle and then sexually battered the boy, reports show. Deputies said Hines drove the boy to the end of the road near his neighborhood, and the teen walked back home.

The boy gave deputies a physical description of Hines and the vehicle he drove, reports show. Deputies and the boy identified the vehicle as a white 2012 Chrysler FIAT.

A Flock Safety automated license plate recognition camera captured the car headed toward the boy’s residence the day of the incident. On Feb. 3, deputies spoke with Hines, who denied meeting the boy, reports show.

Deputies used a DNA collection kit to get samples from Hines and the boy. The results from the Indian River Crime Laboratory showed a strong case that the two had sexual contact, reports show.

Deputies arrested Hines and booked him into the county jail. Hines has an arraignment at 8:45 a.m. June 1, court records show.


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