NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) —An 18-year-old man was charged with sexual battery of a minor after an incident Wednesday afternoon at Nashville Shores.
According to Metro Nashville Police documents, Gilberto Perez was reportedly floating behind the female victim in the lazy river and kept looking at her. He then reportedly followed her to the wave pool.
Security at Nashville Shores told police they witnessed Perez follow the girl.
Police said the victim then told authorities that Perez continued to follow her as she swam further into the wave pool before he grabbed her inappropriately. MNPD said the victim pushed him away, screamed “no” and got out of the pool.
Authorities said the victim’s brother witnessed the incident, and they both told a security officer at the park. Perez was then detained by security until detectives arrived.
During an interview, Metro detectives said the victim and her brother identified Perez, but he denied the allegation. Perez remains behind bars in Davidson County with a $5,000 bond.
“Something that was just an innocent day at the water park, now its on the news. Its life changing,” Beth Walser said.
Walser works with trauma clients at Volunteer Behavioral Health. She said she works with children and adults who have gone through similar traumatic experiences.
“Sometimes victims will think, ‘what could I have done differently?’ but just remind them they are a child and they did nothing wrong and make them feel as supported as best as you can,” Walser said.
Nashville Shores provided News 2 with the following statement:
“The safety of our guests and employees is the number one priority at Nashville Shores, and we take these matters seriously. Our internal security personnel and off-duty officers were made aware of the alleged incident and were able to detain the suspect quickly until Metro police arrived. We are working with police with the investigation.”