A 27-year-old man who was accused of hiding in a teenaged girl’s closet for over five days without her family members knowledge is now in police custody after he turned himself in. The suspect, Jarred Ashley Workman, has been charged with eleven counts of statutory rape and five counts of statutory sex offense and is currently in jail with a $1 million bond.
According to USA Today, Workman met the 14-year-old girl, a resident of Love Valley, North Carolina online through social media. The duo chatted with each other for hours for a month after which they decided to meet near the woods near the girl’s home.
Later, the girl invited Workman over to her place. Jarred Workman managed to sneak into the teenager’s home without the knowledge of her family members where he stayed for as many as five days. He was “discovered” by the girl’s mother when she entered the girl’s room to reorder things inside her closet.
There, she found the 27 year old Workman hiding. He immediately took off and managed to escape. The police were contacted and they were unable to track him beyond Highway 115, from where they assumed he might have hitched a ride. However, in the process of his escape, Workman dropped his wallet and cellphone, which the police recovered and used to track him down.
According to WCNC.com, investigators have found that Workman stayed at the girl’s house during the day when she would be off to school, hiding in the bedroom or inside her closet. According to Lt. Bill Hamby, a detective with the Iredell County Sheriff’s Office, in the five-day span from April 27 to May 2, Workman had sex with the 14-year-old several times.
The age of consensual sex in North Carolina is sixteen, as is the case with 33 other states in the United States. Workman already has a few arrests under his belt and if convicted of this crime, he faces life imprisonment without parole.
This latest case has reignited the debate regarding monitoring the usage of social media by children. A resident of the area, Barbara O’ Brien, said parents need to monitor their children’s social media accounts and usage to prevent scenarios like these.
The names of Workman’s victim and the family have not been revealed due to the nature of the crime and the age of the victim.
[Image via WCNC]