McLennan County Sheriff’s deputies report arresting a man accused of having daily communication with a girl they say he knew to be thirteen years old beginning in February and extending into May.
Deputies began their investigation May 7 with the child’s phone taken as evidence.
An arrest affidavit stated a forensic analysis of Facebook messages was conducted between the victim and a man identified as 42-year-old Ralph Ashby of Huntsville.
The victim was in McLennan County.
The affidavit stated the messages included a claim that the man communicating with the victim loved her and that on more than one occasion indicated he wanted to have sex with her.
He also sent photographs of himself, including intimate photographs with the affidavit stating that he told the victim to “delete it aferwards.
The affidavit also indicated that he asked how old she was and was told she was 13.
As the investigation progressed, deputies obtained a warrant and he was arrested by Walker County deputies, then brought here to face charges.
He was booked into the McLennan County Jail Thursday on a charge of online solicitation of a minor, a second-degree felony, with bond set at $10,000.
Investigator Joe Scaramucci made it clear this case was not a sting operation with a deputy playing the part of a young girl, but an actual case with a real 13-year-old victim.
He also noted that it is very important for parents of underage children to keep a close eye on their online accounts and social media activities and to warn them about predators on the web.