Flood Warning issued July 29 at 9:42AM EDT expiring July 30 at 2:00PM EDT in effect for: Pasco
A Pinellas County party promoter was arrested for having a sexual relationship with a minor and detectives believe there may be more victims out there.
"I am deeply sorry," said Kris Jukic. "I'm deeply sorry for the parents. I'm deeply sorry for the girl."
On May 1, Jukic took over the ownership of Cafe Charlie in Clearwater where Leonard Bame, 32, worked as a party promoter.
According to the Pinellas County Sheriff's Office, Bame would hire high school girls to help promote his teen parties at Cafe Charlie. Detectives say he would often pick the girls up from school and take them to various spots in the county to pass out promotional fliers.
However, one of the underage girls told detectives her relationship with Bame went from professional to sexual on April 9.
Bame was arrested Tuesday night on charges of lewd or lascivious battery on a victim under the age of 16.
Detectives believe due to his frequent contact with children, and other information obtained during the investigation, there may be more victims.
"We want to get the message out there. We want to get his face out there because if there are any other victims we want to know about it," said Sgt. Dave DiSano.
Jukic said he only met Bame one time. He said on May 2, Bame came to the cafe to talk with him about continuing the teen parties, but Jukic said he saw red flags the minute he walked through the door.
"I told him that he's not associated with this establishment anymore and to pick up his equipment, whatever belongs to him, and find a place somewhere else," Jukic said.
The new owner is now considering changing the name of the cafe to further distance himself from Bame. He said he wants the Clearwater community to know this won't happen here again.
"What I can tell you guys is it's not going to happen here again as long as I'm here, not under my watch, not while I'm here," said Jukic.
On Wednesday night, Bame remained behind bars with a $20,000 bond.