The police have charged the man who was with Rosie O’Donnell’s daughter with endangering the welfare of a minor and distribution of obscenity.
Rosie O’Donnell’s daughter, Chelsea, who was missing for about 10 days, was found unharmed living with Steven Sheerer in a New Jersey residence. Exactly how the 17-year-old ended with Sheerer isn’t known, but police haven’t found any indication of foul play. However, after police barged into his residence and recovered Chelsea, Rosie O’Donnell granted express permission to have her daughter’s phone forensically examined to get a better understanding of the case.
Through the investigation of Chelsea’s phone, police have found that 25-year-old Sheerer, a resident of Barnegat, New Jersey, has been sending some very inappropriate messages to the minor, revealed a statement from Ocean County Prosecutor Joseph Coronato,
“On the phone, police found evidence of inappropriate communications over the last several weeks between Sheerer and the minor.”
Though the prosecutor’s statement withheld the identity of the minor, Barnegat police confirmed Chelsea O’Donnell was found in Sheerer’s home, reported CNN. More evidence is expected to surface when the police examine a computer and other digital media that they seized from Sheerer’s residence.
Currently, Steven Sheerer is being held in the Ocean County Jail, and bail has been set at $40,000, but it unlikely he might be post it. It’s not clear if he even has legal representation. The accused has been charged with third degree endangering the welfare of a child and third degree distribution of obscenity to a minor, reported MSN. Each third degree count amounts to a possible penalty of five years in prison.
While Sheerer has been arrested for sending obscene messages to Chelsea, it was Rosie O’Donnell’s daughter who had ran away from home, Cindi Berger, a spokeswoman for Rosie O’Donnell, had confirmed last week. Chelsea had fled with her 6-month-old therapy dog, named Bear.
Though strictly confidential, it is believed she was taking medication for some mental illness and had abruptly stopped, shared Berger,
“Chelsea, like millions of people, lives with mental illness.”
Interestingly, though Chelsea had fled on August 11, reports indicate she was in contact with her family and perhaps it was the device that she used to communicate, that allowed police to zero-in on her location.
[Image Credit | Paul Zimmerman / Getty Images]