Sand Springs Man Charged With Child Porn, Rape Of 14-year-old Girl
PAWNEE COUNTY, Oklahoma -
A 20-year-old Sand Springs man has been accused of multiple sex crimes after an inappropriate relationship with a 14-year-old girl began on social media, the Cleveland American has reported.
Thomas Stewart Madewell Higgins reportedly admitted to exchanging explicit online pictures with a teen girl, traveling to Pawnee County to meet her on two occasions and engaging in sexual acts in the bushes next to her home, an affidavit says.
An arrest and booking document says Higgins serves in the U.S. Army National Guard.
He was charged last week in Pawnee County District Court with forcible sodomy, indecent exposure, two counts of lewd proposal to a minor, two counts of sodomy to a victim under 16, two counts of rape by instrumentation and nine counts of procuring child pornography.
Court documents say the mother of the 14-year-old girl alerted police to the alleged activity after she found questionable text messages on her daughter's cell phone. The mother demanded to know who her daughter's boyfriend was after seeing a text that said "I love you baby," an affidavit says.
On April 29, Cleveland Police Chief Clint Stout interviewed the girl, who said she sneaked out of her house on April 20 and April 21 to meet Higgins in the yard for sexual activity, according to the affidavit.
In a May 3 follow-up forensics interview, the girl told an investigator from the Child Abuse Network that she and the man began communicating through Facebook about a year ago, when she was 13, an affidavit says.
Higgins reportedly told the girl, "Don't tell anyone because I will go to jail," the affidavit says.
In a voluntary interview with police, Higgins said he exchanged graphic photos with the girl, but when asked about sexual activity in the bushes, he denied involvement, invoked his right to counsel and subsequently was placed under arrest, according to investigators.
Higgins later described to police sexual acts that took place, and his accounts matched those of the girl's, the affidavit says.
Nine pornographic photos of the 14-year-old reportedly were found in his email account.
Higgins is being held at the Pawnee County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 15.