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Detectives: Westerville Man Traveled To Calif. To Sexually Assault Girl, 15


UPDATED: Thursday October 4, 2012 8:15 AM

A central Ohio man faced a list of felony charges after police said he traveled across the country to sexually assault a teenage girl.

Authorities said that 43-year-old Michael Scheetz met the girl on Facebook and corresponded online for six months.

The Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said that it became aware of the case when the 15-year-old girl disappeared Sunday evening. After 18 hours, authorities connected the girl's disappearance with Scheetz.

"He told the victim in this case that he was going to take care of her and essentially preyed on some feelings that she was having at home and it appeared her took advantage of that," Los Angeles Co. Sheriff's Office Sgt. Brian Hudson said.

Investigators quickly homed in on Scheetz. Evidence showed that he was already in the area.

"Michael Scheetz had allegedly traveled from Ohio and arrived in California on Sunday, September 30th, for the sole purpose of sexually assaulting the minor in this case," Hudson said.

Detectives said that they found Scheetz walking the streets of Lancaster, Calif. on Monday. They said he admitted why he had traveled there, and told them where he had left the missing girl.

"She was discovered lying underneath a tree in a desert field," Hudson said. "She told detectives that she was sexually assaulted against her will."

Scheetz was being held in the LA County Jail and was charged with five felonies including kidnapping and two counts of lewd acts with a child.

California authorities reached out to central Ohio police to look for any illegal activity. Columbus investigators said that they had not found evidence of local wrongdoing so far.

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