LANCASTER, Ca. (WTVR) - A 15-year-old girl from California, who was first reported as missing, was allegedly raped by a 43-year-old Ohio man.
Detectives said the minor, who lives in Lancaster, California, allegedly first met Michael Scheetz on Facebook.
KCBS' Melissa McCarty reports that the girl is estranged from her parents and had been living in a Lancaster group home. She had no access to computers at the home, but detectives said she had been communicating with the man for six months using a friend's computer.
"There are people out there that will prey on teenagers and children to do some pretty horrific things to them," Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Sgt Brian Hudson said. "Parents need to know what their kids are doing online."
Once the pair met up, detectives said the suspect drove the teen to a desert lot across from a hospital – and sexually assaulted her under a tree – and then left.
When police tracked down the man, he led them back to the spot where the teen was discovered. They found the girl sleeping on the dirt, surrounded by trash, under the same tree waiting for the man to come back.
Detectives said the girl knew the man's age and that he had preyed on her insecurities.
"She is a teenager that was experiencing some typical teenage issues," Hudson said. "She expressed those problems to him.. and he used those issues to prey upon her."
Authorities also said the man had told the girl he take care of her and make her life better.
Even though she did not run when help law enforcement arrived, detectives said the teen was relieved she had been found.
Scheetz, who is behind bars, is facing five felony counts. Bail has been set at more than $1 million.