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8-Year-Old Girl Dials Counseling Center Hotline But Gets Sex Chat Line

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 and was upset over it. Carter said it was nothing serious enough to involve authorities.

"I convinced my daughter this phone call was going to help her," Carter told WCJB-TV of Gainesville. "But it made things immensely worse."

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.

The mother did not return a phone message left at her home Wednesday by The Associated Press.