A Delaware airman has been charged with nine counts of third-degree rape of a teenage girl whom he had met when she was just 13. Staff Sgt Byron White had allegedly raped and impregnated the girl.
The 34-year-old is also facing charges related to continuous sexual abuse of a child. He is currently at the James T Vaughn Correctional Center on $200,000 (£141,470) bond.
Court documents revealed that White met the girl on Facebook and after some initial talks he started grooming her for sexual relationship. The pair had sex at least nine times from May to December 2017.
Local media reports stated that the authorities came to know about the illicit relationship after the Division of Family Services received a tip in December through its hotline regarding the teen's alleged abuse. The division then informed the state police, who launched a probe.
When police questioned the girl, she initially told them that an unidentified man intruded into her family home and impregnated her. After a negative pregnancy test, the case was closed.
However, after some days the girl actually became pregnant and when asked she told investigators that she had lied because she wanted to keep White safe. She then gave details of the alleged abuse and confirmed that the Air Force reservist was the one with whom she had sex multiple times, The News Journal reported.
She added that she became pregnant in May and White, a reserve load master assigned to an Air Force Reserve Command unit at Dover Air Force Base, knew about it. The teenage girl said she would sneak White into her house while her family was asleep. The Facebook messages exchanged between the two also confirmed the girl's account.
The incident comes a week after another airman stationed at a base in Delaware was charged with second degree rape of a 14-year-old girl who had run away from home.
Zepplin Taylor-McGinness was also charged with endangering the welfare of a child. The 21-year-old had allegedly engaged in sexual acts with the girl on multiple occasions.