Escambia County man, 26, accused of paying 15-year-old girl $40 for sex

Northwest Florida

PENSACOLA, Fla. (WKRG) — An Escambia County man accused of soliciting and paying a 15-year-old girl for sex was arrested Wednesday.

Mark Antonio Hallford Jr., 26, was charged with sexual battery, lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim aged 12 to 16, using a computer to seduce, solicit or lure a child, and using a two-way communication device to facilitate a felony.

An Escambia County Sheriff’s Office arrest report says Hallford’s girlfriend discovered he was using a mobile application to solicit prostitutes. The woman texted a number Hallford used to solicit sex and discovered the girl was only 15. The woman turned Hallford in to deputies.

Deputies interviewed the 15-year-old girl who said she was looking for a job on Facebook when Hallford contacted her and stated he needed a babysitter.

The girl texted Hallford, who responded and said the girl “could make a lot more money for a lot less work,” according to the report.

The girl asked Hallford what he was “implying,” and he told her to use her imagination.

The report says Hallford and the girl met May 14. The girl told deputies Hallford took her to a hotel room; they had sex and performed sexual acts on one another; and he paid her $40, stating he would pay the rest of his $100 offer later.

Hallford was taken into custody on Wednesday. His statement to deputies was redacted in the report.

Hallford is also the son of a law enforcement official, and therefore his mugshot is exempt from public release under state law.

He is currently being held in the Escambia County jail on a $125,000 bond.

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