The state attorney general’s office removed the toll-free number for a sexual assault counseling center from its Web site after an 8-year-old girl was connected instead to a sex chat line.
The North Central Florida Sexual Assault Center shut down months ago, and the company that runs the chat line bought the number.
The girl’s mother, Karen Carter, said her daughter called because she witnessed inappropriate behavior two years ago, but at the time, was not ready to talk about it. Carter said it was nothing serious enough to involve authorities.
On Sunday, the girl approached her mother and said she wanted to talk. Carter decided to call the toll-free number she found in the phonebook hoping the operators would offer advice to her daughter. She said she handed her daughter the phone and walked away to give her privacy.
“I come back a few seconds later and she has this look on her face of surprise and then horror and then her eyes start tearing up,” Carter said. “I never thought in my wild’s dreams that she would get a sex line. I was trying to help my daughter.”
The chat line’s number has been removed from the attorney general’s Web site, and his office has apologized to the girl’s family.
“Again our sincerest apologies to the family that was affected,” said Sandi Copes, a spokeswoman for Attorney General Bill McCollum.