Manhattan rape investigation finds 12-year-old girl posed as adult on dating app
MANHATTAN, Kan. (WIBW) - A 12-year-old girl posed as an adult on a dating app which led to the investigation of four Fort Riley soldiers for sexual crimes against a child.
The Manhattan Mercury reports that a 12-year-old girl said on Friday that a Fort Riley man who has been charged with sexual crimes with a child met her through a dating app where she had claimed to be an adult.
According to the Manhattan area newspaper, Jamichael Strahan, 19, of Fort Riley, has been charged with two counts of rape, aggravated criminal sodomy, aggravated indecent liberties with a child and two counts of contributing to a child’s misconduct.
The Mercury recently reported that the judge did drop one count of rape, because it allegedly happened outside Riley County.
The Mercury said during a preliminary hearing on Friday, the girl, who is now 13, but was 12 at the time of the events, said she had created a profile on BLK, a dating service app for black men and women, and had said on her profile that she was 19.
According to the Mercury’s report, the girl had said after messaging over the phone for some time, that she met Strahan three times in person in August. It reported the first, she said she had been with Strahan and both his friends and her friends, but went with him later to a Junction City hotel room. It said the second time, she said she and Strahan drove with friends to Topeka and that they had oral sex. The last time, it reported that she said Strahan had picked her up from her home and drove her to City Park in Manhattan where they hugged and kissed. She had said he was going to take her home after the girl saw that her mother had tried to get in contact with her, but instead, she said an officer had stopped them in the car as they were leaving.
The newspaper said officer Edward McNamara of the Riley County Police Department said he had been looking for the girl after her mother had reported her missing and used her phone to find that her daughter was around City Park.
According to the report, McNamara testified that he stopped Strahan’s car at the park and saw a girl matching the daughter’s description with him, but another responding officer spoke to Strahan. It said McNamara reported the other officer said that when he told Strahan the girl’s actual age Strahan appeared to be shocked.
The Mercury said McNamara took the girl back to the police station and got in contact with her mother. It said while they were at the station, McNamara reported that the girl received a phone call from Strahan, which he answered along with the girl’s mother. McNamara said that Strahan had identified himself and said that he had been with the girl on other occasions, but did not mention the sexual interactions they shared.
According to the Mercury’s report, McNamara reported also speaking to the daughter while at the station and she had told him about the other times she had been with Strahan, the dating app and that she said she was older than her actual age in her profile.
The Mercury said that Tavian Garrett, 23, Zelond Benymon, 19, and Brian Markel Griffith, 20, all of Fort Riley, face similar charges. Police arrested the men in late 2020. According to the Mercury, prosecutors allege the crimes happened between May and October of 2020.
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