Police: Man, 20, had sex with 12-year-old he met on Facebook

William McPhearson, 20, facing felony charges

ALEXANDRIA, Ind. - A 20-year-old man is facing felony charges for having sex with a 12-year-old girl he met on Facebook, police said.

William Anthony McPhearson, 20, is facing felony child molestation and child solicitation charges.

Alexandria police said McPhearson and the girl met on Facebook and developed their relationship online before moving onto texting and in-person contact.

Investigators discovered the relationship after the girl's parents called police to report that their daughter had run away.

When she came home the next morning, police got permission to go through her phone to learn more about her whereabouts the previous night. 

Police said they found sexually explicit text messages in the phone, including a photo of a penis.

The messages came from a number saved as "Love of my Life." Investigators later determined the phone number in question belonged to McPhearson.

Court documents say the girl admitted to having oral sex and intercourse with McPhearson on two different occasions, and she told police that she and McPhearson were both aware of each other's ages.

Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said there are more and more cases of adults developing relationships with children online.

"Even though (the relationship) probably developed under false pretenses... it doesn't make it legal, and it doesn't mean he's not going to face serious criminal charges for what he did," said Cummings.

Parents in Alexandria told RTV6 said they find the story unsettling.

"It's extremely scary," said parent Mary Hendrix. "You can't stay up on technology. These days, it's just too advanced for most parents to keep up with. It's very scary. It makes you not even want to let them on the Internet at all."

McPhearson has bonded out of the Madison County Jail. 

Police said McPhearson is already on probation for a domestic violence incident.

Even though a judge has not set a court date for these latest charges, authorities say McPhearson could still find himself in court to find out if the charges violate his probation.

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