Ohio man accused of sexually assaulting girl he met on Facebook
According to deputies at the Lancaster Sheriff’s Station, the girl was reported missing Sunday. An investigation into her disappearance revealed that she had run away from home in order to meet a man who detectives later learned had traveled to Lancaster, authorities said in a statement.
On Monday, deputies located and detained suspect Michael Scheetz, 43, of Westerville, Ohio, who told police he had recently been with the teenager, authorities said.According to the statement from sheriff’s officials, Scheetz initially denied knowing the whereabouts of the girl, but eventually led detectives to a desert field east of 15th Street West in Lancaster where the girl was found lying on the ground. She told detectives from the L.A. County Sheriff’s Special Victims Bureau that Scheetz had sexually assaulted her, authorities said. The girl was taken to a hospital and is “in good condition,” they said.
According to sheriff’s officials, the victim told detectives that she met Scheetz on Facebook about six months ago and developed an online relationship with him, communicating frequently via email. Authorities also learned that Scheetz arrived in California on Sunday and met the victim at a business in Lancaster.
“It was apparent that the suspect’s sole reason for traveling to California was to engage in sexual intercourse with the victim,” according to the statement from authorities. Detectives determined that Scheetz knew the victim’s age before he traveled to California, they said.
Scheetz was arrested and booked at Lancaster Sheriff’s Station, and on Wednesday the L.A. County district attorney’s office filed five felony counts against him, authorities said. According to the Sheriff’s Department's online inmate locator, Scheetz is being held at the inmate reception center in downtown L.A. and his bail has been set at $1.275 million.
-- Ann M. Simmons in Santa Clarita
Photo: Michael Scheetz. Credit: KTLA-TV Channel 5