A 20-year-old man who convinced a 13-year-old girl he met online to run away with him has been hit with sexual assault charges after both admitted to having an inappropriate relationship, police said.
When the 13-year-old girl went missing from her Radnor home on Dec. 3, police and her parents immediately suspected Ashley Ryan Hareford, 20, who had been stopped by police near the girl's house the previous night for appearing suspicious, police said.
According to court documents, Hareford and the girl met on an online game called Party in My Dorm about a month ago and at the end of November, Hareford hitchhiked his way from Virginia to meet the girl, whom he knew to be 13.
From Nov. 30 to Dec. 3, the two had several sexual encounters, police said. The night she was reported missing, the girl and Hareford slept outside in a wooded area near the King of Prussia Mall, according to court documents. They took a bus to Washington, D.C. the next day, where they were apprehended by authorities.
Originally, Hareford was charged only with corruption of minors, but in light of the information that came out during interviews with Hareford and the girl, police have upped the charges to include statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse and aggravated indecent assault, all of which are felonies.
Hareford, who had previously tried to meet women online through sites like DateHookUp.com, was not shy or embarrassed about his inappropriate contact with the child. His Facebook profile picture, which was open for anyone to view, showed him locked in a mouth-to-mouth kiss with the child he's accused of assaulting.