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Deputies: Man used 'arcade van' to sexually prey on kids | Crime

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Deputies: Man used 'arcade van' to sexually prey on kids
Crime
Deputies: Man used 'arcade van' to sexually prey on kids

Winter Haven, Florida -- A Lakeland businessman has been charged with child molestation, after investigators say he used a mobile arcade van packed with video games to get close to young boys.

So far, detectives have identified at least two, possibly three victims, but they think there could be many more.

Sheriff Grady Judd called the seized vehicle a predator's paradise used to seek out and prey on children.

A look inside the customized Mercedes van shows why it was so popular at parties for kids around 8 to 14.

Photo Gallery: Man with video game van arrested

Deputies say 44-year-old Leonard Filipkoswki was trying to pose as the "Cool Dad." He now faces 20 counts of lewd and lascivious acts with minors.

"Leonard Filipkowski is our absolute worst nightmare," said Sheriff Judd, because Filipkowski had no criminal record that would have alerted parents.

Judd says he seemed to be the one guy you could trust your children with.

Detectives say Filipkowski confessed to providing alcohol to, then sexually molesting a 13-year-old boy inside the van in 2010. They say he performed sexual acts on another victim, around the same age at his home.

The vehicle, franchised under the name "Games 2 U," is well-known and popular in the area. Loaded with big-screen TV's, smoke machines, lights and video game consoles, Filipkowski would visit birthday parties, children's events, churches and schools.

"It gave him access to a lot of young boys," said Judd.

Detectives say Filipkowski was in denial when they told him he was being charged and that they were confiscating his van. He described his conduct as a "lapse in judgment," said Judd.

Officials say Filipkowski bought into the Games 2 U franchise about three years ago. He would charge, about $300 per event, and was making more than $100,000 per year.

"All the while he had evil thoughts about these little kids," said Judd.

Filipkowski faces nine counts of molestation on a victim under the age of 16, and 11 counts of exposing himself in the presence of a child.

So far, investigators have identified two victims, and were speaking with a boy they think may be a third.

"There certainly is the real possibility [of more victims], because of his ability to be around children," said Sheriff Judd.

Games 2 U is headquartered in Texas. A woman who answered the phone at the company says it screens its franchisees for any criminal activity and Filipkowski had no record.

The sheriff's office says that's what made Filipkowski so dangerous, and they advise parents to always supervise their children.

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