How police tracked down a Ky. man who allegedly met a California teen for sex & then took off with him

Carlie Joe Bentley
Carlie Joe Bentley

A Kentucky man is accused of traveling to California to have sex with a 14-year-old boy whom he then allegedly tried to bring back to the Commonwealth.

Carlie Joe Bentley, 49, was arrested while traveling through Arizona Sunday night with the boy in his rental car, authorities said.

Bentley met the boy using an online dating app, according to a statement by FBI special agent Kristen Robinson. The statement was filed in U.S. District Court in the Southern District of California.

Robinson said Bentley checked in to a San Diego area motel on Dec. 30 and stayed there with the boy for two days, then left San Diego. The boy told others that he had engaged in sexual activity with Bentley during that time and that there were videos of it.

Then on Sunday, the teen left a note for his family saying he was “running away from home.”

A family member contacted people with whom the boy communicated, who told them that he had left with a 49-year-old man and that they might come back “at spring break or when (the boy) turned eighteen years old,” according to the FBI agent’s statement.

The family member called the police, who learned that the two were in Arizona. Law enforcement agencies there were alerted to be on the lookout.

The Yavapai County Sheriff’s Office said that a deputy parked in the median along Interstate 17 at about 7:15 p.m. Sunday to try to look for Bentley’s vehicle. About 20 minutes later, he saw a northbound vehicle with Kentucky plates.

The deputy did not see a passenger in the vehicle, and the vehicle did not match descriptions given for the kidnapping suspect’s car, so he did not stop it.

Not long afterward, the sheriff’s office said, the deputy heard an update about possible places the suspect might be, and he notified other law enforcement officers to look for the vehicle he had seen going north.

Officers with the Arizona Department of Public Safety soon saw the vehicle the deputy reported, stopped it and arrested Bentley, according to the sheriff’s office.

“According to arresting officers, Bentley’s pants were unbuttoned and unzipped when he exited the vehicle,” Robinson wrote.

The boy was taken into protective custody, the sheriff’s office reported.

The FBI agent said in the statement that Bentley admitted to sexual activity with the teen.

Bentley is charged in federal court with travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

He was being held Tuesday in the Camp Verde Detention Center, the Associated Press reported.