CRIME
03/29/2013 11:25 am ET

Sex Assault Hotline Printed On Lake County Sheriff's Flyer Is Phone Sex Number

When a domestic violence victim in Lake County, Fla., called a sexual assault and domestic abuse hotline number she'd seen on a Sheriff's Office flyer, the automated message startled her.

"Welcome to America's hottest talk line," the recording said. "Ladies, talk to interesting and exciting guys, free, press one now. Guys, hot ladies are waiting to talk to you."

It turns out, Lake County Sheriff's Office accidentally listed a sex hotline as a sexual abuse hotline, WKMG reported. Sgt. Jim Vachon told the station that a victim made them aware of the mistake on Tuesday.

The 800 number -- on thousands of flyers -- was supposed to connect callers to the Haven, a victim's advocacy group.

Sgt. Jim Vachon told the station that a victim made them aware of the mistake on Tuesday.

WFTV 9 reported that the mixup occurred because the Sheriff's Office simply prints what it's given, and that was the number listed. A spokesperson told the station that they eventually traced the sex hotline number to an address of a former rape crisis center that Haven now runs.

But Haven has not used that address for nearly 20 years, according to Kelly Smallridge, the group's Executive Director.

"I was shocked and stunned. I had never seen that number before," she told the station. "As long as I've worked with this agency we haven't had a 1-800 number."

The Sheriff's Office has since corrected the error and distributed new flyers and pamphlets.

The incident mirrors that of Florida govenor Rick Scott, who, in 2010, mistakenly sent constituents seeking information on a fungal meningitis outbreak to a phone sex hotline.

The correct 24-hour hotline to the Haven of Lake and Sumter Counties is 352-753-5800 for domestic violence, or 352-787-1379 for sexual assault.

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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