BREVARD COUNTY, Fla. — A 25-year-old man who worked at a Brevard County youth behavioral health facility dated a 14-year-old girl he met on the Tinder app, the Brevard County Sheriff's Office said.
Ross Aylward was working at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health’s Viera campus while dating the girl, who had no connection to the facility, Sheriff’s Office spokesman Tod Goodyear said.
The two chatted a few times earlier this month before Aylward picked her up from her home for a date, Goodyear said.
Aylward drove the girl to his home, where they had sex at least three times, deputies said.
“I have no information as to whether ages were discussed,” Goodyear said. “However, from talking to investigators, the girl looks like a young person. (She) doesn't look to be over the age of 18.”
The girl ran away from home and told deputies about the relationship when she was found, they said.
The facility told Channel 9 that Aylward was placed on administrative leave when it learned of his arrest and has since been terminated.
“Any instance indicating a child's safety has been compromised is a situation we take very seriously,” a facility spokesman said. “Additionally, any indication of an adult making choices that ultimately harm youth is found to be abhorrent, unacceptable and certainly not tolerated at Devereux.”
Aylward was charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious battery on a minor. He’s being jailed in lieu of a $60,000 bail.
Investigators said they don’t believe Aylward had an inappropriate relationship with any other girls.