NEWARK, N.J. – A 19-year-old man was charged Friday with having sexual contact with a 13-year-old girl who sent her mother a series of chilling text messages claiming she was being held and abused by captors.
The girl was found in New York on Thursday, three days after she disappeared, amid suspicions that she pulled a hoax.
The man, Sebastian Osario, was one of three questioned this week by Jersey City police investigating the girl's disappearance. Osario met up with the girl Monday after she cut school, but they parted ways that afternoon, authorities said.
Authorities were trying to account for the girl' whereabouts over the following two days. She also claimed she had been raped by two men in New York, an allegation New York City police are investigating.
On Monday, the girl's mother received text messages from her daughter's cell phone saying that someone followed her and that she woke up in a dark basement. But the girl's cell phone battery died Monday, frustrating attempts to verify her movements.
Jersey City police said the girl first met Osario at the Newport Mall about three or four weeks ago. They became friends and agreed to keep in touch by cell-phone text messages, police said.
Osario's arrest was not related to the New York allegation, Martinez said. The girl was questioned briefly by Jersey City detectives on Thursday and returned home from a New York hospital with her parents late in the day.
The Associated Press is not identifying the girl because she is the alleged victim of sexual abuse.
Calls to prosecutors were not immediately returned Friday.