WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI/WOOD) — A Rhode Island man charged with sexually assaulting an Allegan County teenager who had been missing for days appeared in court Wednesday.
Charles Morancey, 43, was arrested Tuesday night after police said they found the 15-year-old Hopkins Township girl at his home in Warwick, Rhode Island.
Investigators allege the two met online and Morancey drove to Michigan to pick up the girl and bring her back to Rhode Island.
“Officers from Warwick Police Department did obtain a brief statement from (the girl) who stated she had been communicating with Charles Morancey and asked her to come pick her up from Michigan,” said an Allegan County investigator before a judge.
Morancey was arraigned Wednesday on four counts of third-degree sexual assault out of Warwick. Third-degree sexual assault is defined as having sexual relations with someone over the age of 14 but under 16—the age of consent.
The girl’s parents reported her missing on Friday, saying she left a note that she was running away from home.
Her family believes she was picked up along 135th Avenue, near her home. The girl’s grandmother said the pickup point was the perfect location because it’s blocked from any home’s view.
The girl’s grandmother believes Morancey checked out the location before picking up the girl. A neighbor down the street says he noticed a car turn around on his property and noted the make, year and model.
The girl’s grandmother says she saw the same black car moving slowly by when she was outside mowing the lawn. The grandmother said when the bearded man driving the car noticed she was watching him, he put his hand up to block the side of his face.
After the girl was located five days later in Morancey’s home, her parents summed up their feelings in one word: relief.
“They found her. They got her, and we’re just all so happy that she’s coming home,” the girl’s father said.
“It’s been five days, only five days and my daughter is coming home,” he continued. “Other parents… they don’t ever get to see their children again.”
Morancey was located hours later during a traffic stop.
The judge on Wednesday revealed that Morancey was wanted as a fugitive from justice in Michigan on felony counts of accosting children for immoral purposes and use of a computer to commit a crime. He said that while the charges are serious, they’re not capital offenses, meaning he couldn’t hold Morancey without bail.
Morancey’s bail was set at $50,000 double surety on the Michigan charges and an additional $25,000 surety for the sexual assault charges. He was ordered to have no internet access and no contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Morancey is fighting extradition to Michigan. An extradition hearing was scheduled for Sept. 30.
The girl’s family said they hope he gets locked up for life.
“He’s the scum of the Earth,” her father said. “I hope he gets what he deserves when he stands in front of the judge and that final gavel gets smacked down, and he can live with the rest of his stuff of what he’s got to do in prison because that’s where I hope he stays for the rest of his days.”