A man is being held at the Madison County Jail facing sex offense charges. The man is accused of being involved in a sexual relationship with a minor female. The evidence is currently being reviewed by the Madison County State Attorney. Whether or not he will be charged with a sex crime is yet to be determined.

The incident occurred after police responded to a complaint about a missing person. The mother of a missing girl, whose actual age was not disclosed in a news report, alleges her daughter had left their Edwardsville, Illinois, home about 9:30 pm on May 5. There was a search of the local Edwardsville area but the girl was not found. Later it was discovered she may have been with a 23-year-old man she had allegedly come into contact with via social networking.

They were supposedly seen together in the 5100 block of Kay Drive inside an abandoned trailer. Deputies claim to have found the pair inside. The man had allegedly been sexually active with the minor more than once since he traveled to the area earlier in the month, although no details of the claimed encounters were disclosed. The man was arrested and is under a bond of $60,000.

It is not yet known whether Madison County will charge this man with a sex crime. With crimes of this nature, a community becomes concerned and may push heavily for prosecution. It may be in this man’s best interests to consult with a criminal defense attorney to protect his legal rights because he may have an uphill legal battle ahead of him if he is charged. With the laws governing this type of incident, even if the relationship had been consensual, the girl is still a minor and making any type of sexual contact with her may potentially be a crime. Nevertheless, the scant facts included in the news report underscores the important of the presumption of innocence until proven otherwise.

Source: The Edwardsville Intelligencer, “Man faces charges in sex case,” Steve Horrell, May 8, 2012