Sarasota firefighter arrested for sexting with minor he met at Applebees

Aaron Key Mugshot
Posted at 1:38 PM, Mar 17, 2016
and last updated 2016-03-17 11:09:17-04

SARASOTA COUNTY, Fla. -- A Sarasota County firefighter faces up to 15 years in prison, after investigators say he persuaded an underage female to text him naked pictures of herself.

43-year-old Aaron Key faces a felony charge of Sexual Performance by a Child.

According to an investigation by the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office, Key met the 17-year-old victim in late December at the Applebee's Restaurant, located at 3255 University Parkway. Key allegedly put his phone number into the victim's iPhone.

Key and the victim then corresponded via text over the following few weeks, with Key describing sexually explicit pictures that he wanted the victim to take, and the victim sending him multiple nude or semi-nude photos in response. The relationship continued until Jan. 16, when communication broke off.

Detectives made contact with Key on March 9, interviewing him and taking him into custody. He was released on bond on Monday, March 14.

A county spokesperson says Key is still employed by the Fire Department, but that he is on paid administrative leave while the county gathers facts related to the case. Key has been with the department since 2007.