COLUMBIA - Columbia police arrested a 24-year-old Sullivan man Saturday morning in connection with the statutory rape of a 13-year-old Columbia girl he met on the Internet, Columbia police Sgt. Ken Hammond said.
Matthew D. McMillian was arrested at 4:16 a.m. on suspicion of first-degree statutory rape, first-degree statutory sodomy, enticement of a child, first-degree trespass and obstructing government operations. He was released Saturday afternoon from the Boone County Jail after posting $25,500 bond.
While on routine patrol, an officer discovered a man and a girl in a car in the closed parking lot of Stephens Lake Park, Hammond said. The officer believed there was more illicit behavior taking place than what he was told by the pair.
Citing the ongoing investigation, Hammond declined to comment on specifics of the case.
Hammond said the suspect met the victim on a singles Web site, hotornot.com, and had been using the Internet as a tool to contact the victim. The two had been communicating with each other since as early as June of this year, Hammond said.
Boone County Sheriff’s Detective Andy Anderson, coordinator of the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force, declined to comment on whether the task force had McMillian under surveillance.
Hammond offered some advice for parents about keeping children safe on the Internet.
“Be aware,” Hammond said. “Monitor the time spent (online). Know who is communicating with your child. Internet crimes are being more and more of a crime we are dealing with. The explosion of the Internet is an ample opportunity for predators to reach out and have communication with your child.”