A 14-year-old girl is safe after being taken from her home by an alleged pedophile. Police have arrested 29-year-old Jerry Pocklington, who disappeared with the teen. His alleged plan was to bring the girl to New York, and then hide out with her for four years, until he could legally marry her. One problem? He's already married -- to the teen's mother.
Police say that the man and girl were hitchhiking and eventually found an unlocked van near a business. They spent the night inside the van, where the man allegedly committed statutory rape. Employees spotted the suspicious-looking pair and called police.
The man is now behind bars. The girl is safe with a relative, though it's unclear if she went back to her mother. Reportedly, the mother wrote on Facebook that she had not yet been reunited with her daughter.
The man reportedly already had a rap sheet -- he was a registered sex offender, for a crime committed when he was a juvenile. It's not clear if the mom knew about this when she married him. Makes you wonder if he married her to get close to the teen.
Reportedly, the girl told authorities the two had started a sexual relationship the year before. A Missouri detective said:
I think she knew that it was wrong, but again, she’s a 14-year-old child, so she was scared and confused ... I'm not sure if he's delusional, I believe in his own mind that's who he's attracted to and he thinks he's in love with her, I guess.
Gah, when will these creeps learn? It must have been horrible for this mom to realize that her own husband had not only run away with her daughter, but had allegedly been having an affair with her for a year before that.
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At least they found the girl after two days -- she could have ended up with this guy for much longer, since he intended to marry her. Somehow.
This was someone the girl should have been able to trust not to take advantage of her. A 14-year-old girl is looking for love and affection, and guys like this can be very good at promoting sex as a way for a girl to get that. But that is not the kind of love a young girl needs.
The man faces up to 25 years in prison in Missouri. But since the pair came from Illinois, he could face more time if he's found guilty of sexually assaulting her there as well.
Should he spend life in prison?
Image via Arizona Dept. of Corrections