A Mason man is accused of sexting a 12-year-old girl, and a teen was arrested for allegedly having sex with the same girl.
James Morger, 26, of 7600 block of Alexandra Drive, was charged with several felonies, including pandering obscenity, possessing criminal tools, tampering with evidence, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and endangering children, said Chief John Terrill of the Clearcreek Twp. Police Department. Officials say charges were filed Thursday in Warren County Court; Morger, who also is facing multiple drug charges, is jailed in lieu of $375,000 bond.
“Mr. Morger had contact with the juvenile via various types of social media; some pictures were exchanged that were in violation of the law,” said Terrill.
Prior to Morger’s arrest, officers charged a 15-year-old boy with rape for allegedly having sex with the same 12-year-old girl.
“Being less than 13 years of age, whether the activity is consensual, it is still a rape charge,” said Terrill.
Both juveniles are students in the Springboro Community School District, Terrill said, adding that the girl is a Clearcreek Twp. resident and the teen lives in Springboro.
Police say they’ve been investigating the case for seven months, and that during the investigation they discovered “hints of human trafficking issues.”
“Craigslist ads were involved, which were quite alarming to us,” said Terrill.
People from other states were trying to contact the 12-year-old girl as well, the chief said.
“(We are) currently looking to see whether or not the U.S. Attorney General’s Office is going to pick up some federal charges related to this investigation,” said Terrill. “For a community like ours, it’s shocking for these kinds of things. I’ve been to a lot of schools (and) they talk about human trafficking. You’d think as a police chief I’m not going to see that in my jurisdiction … disturbing for us to think it can reach here, too.”
He advised parents to talk to their children, particularly pre-teens and teens, about the dangers of online sexual predators.
“Monitor their phones, monitor their iPads, look into these devices and see what they’re up to,” said Terrill.
When officers searched Morger’s home earlier this week, they also discovered drugs. “His home reeked of marijuana, during the process of the search warrant we recovered about half a pound of marijuana, various drug paraphernalia and signs that Mr. Morger was trafficking drugs,” said Terrill.
According to police, Morger was also charged with two counts of drug possession, trafficking in drugs, cultivation of marijuana and possession of criminal tools.
A woman who lives across the street from Morger said she’s “shocked.” She declined to give her name, but said she’s “known them for as long as they’ve lived here and you don’t expect something like that from a neighbor.
“Our kids played together, I’ve never known him to be like this, he was friendly, normal.”
Terrill says the 12-year-old girl’s parents have been cooperative in the investigation, but that they were “set aback by it.” “How would you like to wake up one day and find out your 12-year-old has been involved in a lot of these websites with people preying on her?”