Updated on June 21, 2017 at 4:41 PMPosted on June 21, 2017 at 4:29 PM
BY SARAH CASSI
An Allentown man who said he drives for Uber and Lyft is accused of arranging sex in exchange for money and transportation with a girl under the age of 18.
Hellertown police said they stopped 43-year-old Francisco Arias in the early morning of Jan. 12 in the 1000 block of Second Avenue in the borough, where he told officers he was picking up the juvenile girl.
Police said they received an anonymous call six days prior, in which a tipster said the girl was exchanging sex for money. Police did not list the girl's age.
At the traffic stop, Arias allowed officers to review a text conversation on his iPhone, police said. In the messages between Arias and the juvenile, and Arias and another female, Arias agrees to sell drugs for money, police said.
During a search of Arias' vehicle, police said they found a baggie of cocaine.
In an interview with police, Arias gave officers permission to view text messages on his phone. Police said there were several messages between Arias and the juvenile girl where he offered to pay her for sex with money and transportation.
Police said a lab report from Arias' phone showed "numerous" texts from Sept. 10 through Jan. 12, where he negotiated sex from the minor in exchange for money, marijuana and transportation.
Arias was arraigned Wednesday on charges of unlawful contact with a minor for prostitution, criminal use of a cellphone, corruption of minors, patronizing prostitutes, possession of cocaine, possession of drug paraphernalia, and driving with an obscured license plate.
During his preliminary arraignment on Wednesday, Arias said he works as a restaurant server and a driver for Uber and Lyft.
Arias is free after posting 10 percent of $5,000.
Arias said his wife and children live in Allentown, but after he was arrested, his wife kicked him out. Arias has been living and working in North Bergen, New Jersey, with his sister-in-law for the past two months.