DURHAM, N.C. (WNCN) – One man is in custody after he sexually assaulted a 14-year-old girl in the parking lot at Southpoint Mall, according to police.
Keshawn Brown, 19, is in the Durham County jail on a secured $250,000 bond after he allegedly sexually assaulted the girl in his car.
According to a search warrant, the 14-year-old girl said she met Brown on Instagram and agreed to meet him in person at the mall on Saturday.
She said the two walked around for a little bit, and then went out to his car where she said he sexually assaulted her.
Brown told police he didn’t know the girl was only 14.
Cary Police Detective Kevin West told CBS 17 all too often teenagers will talk with people online who don’t have the best intentions.
“It’s something that’s really dangerous,” West said. “But it is something that goes on every day. Number one, children should never talk to anyone online that they don’t know personally.”
The Cary Police Department is not connected in any way to this case, but they do have a cybercrime unit.
The department’s unit poses as children in some of the popular social media apps and they’ve caught at least 90 online predators over the last 10 years in the Raleigh-Durham area.
“We have had people travel to Cary, we’ve had people within Cary travel to meet us in, thinking they were going to meet a child and we put people in jail,” West said.
Rachel Galanter is the executive director of the Exchange Family Center.
Galanter said one thing her organization does is help families make sure their children are safe online.
She said parents should monitor their children’s use of social media and be aware of the websites they use.
“Simple things like having them use their computers in a public area of the home so that when they are pulling things up, it’s encouraging them to think of those things being seen publicly,” Galanter said.
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