standing Westerly police 2

WESTERLY — An 18-year-old town resident is facing charges after the police said he had an inappropriate sexual encounter with a 14-year-old girl that he met online late last year.

Westerly police charged the man, Ian Morgan, of 20 Fusaro Ave., Apt. B, with third-degree sexual assault after he turned himself in after being informed that the department had obtained a warrant for his arrest. He was arraigned before a justice of the peace, according to Rhode Island judicial records, and was released on a promise to appear in 4th Division District Court at a later date.

Morgan is the son of state Sen. Elaine J. Morgan, who represents the 34th district towns of Charlestown, Hopkinton, Richmond, Exeter and West Greenwich.

Westerly Police Chief Shawn Lacey said the charges stem from an investigation into a complaint made by the mother of the 14-year-old girl, who filed a complaint on Feb. 23 after discovering that her daughter sneaked out her bedroom window and met up with Morgan.

According to police, an investigation determined that Morgan and the girl had met in November through the Snapchat social media app and met on three occasions, the last of which occurred on Feb. 19. During the last occasion, the police said the two allegedly engaged willfully in a sexual encounter.

Lacey said that Morgan and the girl each indicated to police that he believed the girl was 15 years old and would soon turn 16. The age of consent in Rhode Island is 16 years old.

State judicial records show that Westerly police had filed the charge with the Rhode Island Superior Court on Monday, but no future court date has been set.

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