James Patrick Strickland, 24, was not initially familiar with the teenaged victim, Roanoke Rapids police Investigator Chris Babb said this morning.
Chief Chuck Hasty said in a statement the matter stems from a report fielded in September after a parent checked Facebook Messenger and found inappropriate photos and conversations.
Babb identified Strickland as the alleged suspect in the case by obtaining information from Facebook and cell phones.
The investigation, in which Babb was assisted by Lieutenant C.L. Vaught and investigators J.K. Davis and G.L. Williams, led to the warrants on Strickland.
Strickland has a March 1 court date and received a $20,000 bond.
In the statement Hasty offered some online safety tips:
Be aware and involved. It’s important to be direct when teaching children how to use the Internet safely and responsibly. You should also detail the potential dangers.
Do your homework. Ask children what they want to do online and then check those websites.
Talk to your children. Ask questions about what they’re looking at online and who their buddies are. From time to time, sit with down with them while online to get a sense of what they’re doing.
Teach cyber safety. Make sure children know how to avoid online dangers such as giving personal information, sending photos or sharing passwords and opening email or attachments from strangers.
Set the rules. Keep computers with Internet access in a central room in the house. Set firm time limits for how long your child can use it and during what hours.
Better safe than sorry. Most search engines have controls that let parents set what kind of content can be returned in a search. Set those to a child-friendly level.
Report suspicious activity. Let your Internet service provider or the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (1-800-843-5678) know immediately. Tell your children to let you know if something creepy happens to them online.
Take another look at your own online habits. Children watch everything adults do. Think twice about your own habits.
Embrace the online world. The best way to keep your children safe is to guide them to safe places on the Internet such as National Geographic or visit Facebook so you are familiar with the online world.
Fugitive from justice arrested
Meanwhile, Hasty said in a statement officers S. Blythe and A. Green arrested and charged Rakelle Deshoma Graham, 26, of Roanoke Rapids for being a fugitive from justice out of the Commonwealth of Virginia.
Graham was held without opportunity for bond and given a February 15 court date.
Hasty said Roanoke Rapids received information from the Greensville County Sheriff’s Office about Graham having outstanding warrants for attempted murder, assault, malicious wounding and gang participation in a criminal act.
Officers took Graham into custody without trouble during a traffic stop on Southgate Drive near Apollo Circle.
Officers also took Jaquan Qu’Tavis Robinson, 21, of Roanoke Rapids, into custody for an outstanding order for arrest and charged him with resisting/delaying/obstructing an officer by giving a false name.
Robinson received a $6,000 bond and a March 3 court date.
Sergeant M. Moseley and Master Officer G. Morris assisted.