Contractor Accused of Sending Inappropriate Texts to Teenage Girl

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A home contractor has been placed behind bars without bond for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to a teenage girl. News4's Nothern Virginia Bureau Chief Julie Carey reports.

    A home contractor has been placed behind bars without bond for allegedly sending inappropriate text messages to a teenage girl.

    According to court documents obtained by News4's Julie Carey, 47-year-old Rizalino Bernardo worked as a contractor at a Burke, Va. home during spring break.

    Bernardo allegedly pulled the home owner's 14-year-old girl in front of a mirror, complimented her on her looks and hugged her. At the end of the day, she walked with Bernardo to his work truck where he pointed out his number and asked her to text message him, documents say.

    The two exchanged texts, and Bernardo instructed her to erase messages after she received them, police said. Court documents say Bernardo asked the girl if she wanted to have sex with him, even offering to buy her things if she would be his girlfriend.

    Police say the girl then told a teacher about the texts, who then contacted her parents. Police were notified within two days. 

    Detectives posed as the 14-year-old, and baited Bernardo into a meeting where he was arrested.

    Court documents say Bernardo confessed to police he had planned to take the girl back to his house and have sex with her. Police say the case underscores the precautions parents need to take when strangers are doing work in their homes. 

    "We're not saying of course not to be friendly and chit-chat and say 'Hello,' but beyond that, just be cautious and supervise children and teens," Lucy Caldwell with Fairfax County Police told News4. 

    Bernardo was not a licensed contractor and is facing charges of indecent liberties and using a communications device to solicit a minor.