LEESBURG – A Eustis man was arrested Sunday evening after allegedly following a 9-year-old girl into a ladies restroom at ViaPort Mall in Leesburg according to reports.
According to the report, Leesburg police officers responded to ViaPort after receiving a call in reference to a possible sexual battery on Sunday, January 29 just after 4:00 pm.
When officers arrived, they spoke with the victim who stated that she entered the ladies restroom and was in a locked bathroom stall when a man entered the restroom and crawled under and into the stall where she was and began touching her inappropriately.
The man, later identified as 24-year-old Cody Michael Smith, kept telling the girl “I’m sorry” as he touched her, although he never stopped, according to the report.
Smith exited the bathroom when another woman entered after hearing the victim scream.
Officers were able to view surveillance footage that showed the victim enter the restroom followed by Smith a few seconds later.
Officers found Smith shortly after the incident near Sears holding an open pocket knife in his hand.
Smith was arrested and charged with lewd and lascivious battery on a victim under 12 and with burglary.
During the booking process, officers discovered Smith was on probation after serving 3 years in prison on a similar charge in 2012.
Smith was additionally charged with violation of probation.
He was transported to the Lake County Jail where he is being held without bond.
Smith is scheduled to appear in court on February 27 at 8:30 am.