SARASOTA, Fla. — On Wednesday, Sarasota County posted a photo on Facebook warning residents that a convicted sex offender moved into their county. The posts are frequent and routine for the department. But, the one for Sarah Iglesia struck a chord.
Users started to post in the comment section an advertisement from the website sitter.com that showed Iglesia offering to work as a nanny. The post was shared multiple times and readers began tagging law enforcement agencies to investigate.
“OMG! That site needs to know about her and take that listing off! That is so scary,” one commenter wrote.
ABC Action News learned Iglesia entered a plea of nolo contendere in Nov. 2014 to promoting the sexual performance of a child, a 2nd degree felony. glesia is now on the sex offender registry for life.
We tracked Iglesia down outside her Sarasota home to ask her about the online ad to work as a nanny. Iglesia said she had no idea the ad was still up and said she is not a predator and is not working in any capacity as a nanny or with children.
Iglesia said people only see one side of the story online and agreed to tell ABC Action News what happened that turned her into a convicted felon.
“There’s sex offenders that are actually sexual offenders and there’s people like me that fall into the grey category,” Iglesia said.
While working as a nanny in 2014 Iglesia said she met a guy name Jaime Perez and fell in love. After six months she said things in their relationship changed and he became violent.
“He decided to tell me he was into child pornography. So, I broke up with him the first time. And, he said he was going to change and so me being super naive, I was super young, I went back to him. And, thought that I was in love with him. I either leave him or I’m going to end up suicidal, or he is probably going to kill me because the abuse was just escalating and getting worse.”
Iglesia said she felt trapped and while working as a nanny she says Perez asked her to do something illegal.
“He threatened to kill me if I didn’t take a picture of the little girl that I nannied for. And, I was in a really dark place, you know. I think people like to judge people who are in abusive relationships, but unless you’ve been in it you don’t know how that is, and the control that someone can have on you.”
Iglesia took the photo of the 4-years-old girl on a phone the arrest report says belonged to Jaime Perez. Months after sending Perez the photo she says she broke up with him.
“Two months after that I left him because he hit me for the last time, (on) my back I had a bunch of bruises,” Iglesia said.
Iglesia’s arrest report shows Perez texted the photo to the victim’s mom who called and reported the crime. A month after Iglesia was taken into custody, investigators went after Perez arresting him for domestic violence and charges related to child porn.
Court documents show Perez admitted to asking Sarah for “photos of the children from Sarah through Facebook conversations that he had with her on his computer. The computer was obtained from his residence and was labeled TR3. It was also determined during the investigation that the pornographic photo of the four-year-old victim was uploaded from the cell phone to the desktop computer.”
“I hope that he gets sentenced, you know, he turned my life upside down,” Iglesia said.
A trial for Perez is set for February. Iglesia is listed as a state witness. Her probation was also cut short by another judge she says was finally sympathetic to her claims of domestic violence.
The website sitter.com confirmed that the advertisement for Iglesia as a nanny was still active. They told ABC Action News it was created in 2013, a year before Iglesia was arrested and she “has not used the account since she created it.” The website also confirmed that her account was deactivated once ABC Action News alerted them that Iglesia is a registered sex offender.
Iglesia said she wishes she was strong enough back then to stand up for herself.
“Definitely don’t ignore the people around you. If people think this guy isn’t good for you or you are changing don’t ignore that. Because, I did and I am paying for it for the rest of my life,” Iglesia said.