Man charged in girl’s rape
BY AMELIA HARPER
Rocky Mount Telegram
Thursday, April 19, 2018
A Michigan man has been arrested and charged with kidnapping and rape in connection with an online catfishing scheme involving a 15-year-old girl.
Tarboro police Chief Jesse Webb said in a statement on Tuesday that the investigation began on March 8 after officers responded to Vidant Edgecombe Hospital in connection to a report of a sexual assault that had taken placed several days earlier.
Police learned that the victim of the assault was a 15-year-old girl and the matter was turned over to the Investigations Division.
During the course of the investigation, officers learned that someone claiming to be a 17-year-old boy had befriended the girl on social media for over a year. Through the investigation, officers learned that the alleged online friend was actually a 32-year-old man later identified as Andrew Charles Sedenquist of Comstock Park, Mich.
The creation of a false online identity for the purposes of seducing or defrauding someone is often referred to as “catfishing.”
Sedenquist allegedly made arrangements in early March to meet the girl in Tarboro. During that visit, the juvenile was sexually assaulted, Webb said. Following an in-depth investigation, warrants were obtained for Sedenquist’s arrest and contact was made with law enforcement officials in Comstock Park.
Within several hours of this contact, Sedenquist was arrested by authorities in Michigan and held at a detention facility in the state pending extradition to North Carolina.
Sedenquist was returned to Edgecombe County on April 4 and was charged with one count of kidnapping; two counts of statutory rape/sex offense against a 13-, 14- or 15-year-old and one count of solicitation of a child by computer. He was jailed under a $1 million bond in the Edgecombe County Detention Center.
Webb said the incident is a good reminder of the need for caution online.
“Without a doubt, this case demonstrates the need for us to remain vigilant in not only our personal associations but our social media interactions as well. In this incident, parental involvement played a key role in exposing the crime after it occurred. The same holds true for our preventative efforts,” Webb said.