Ohio man caught performing sexual activities with 15-year-old in Rowan County, deputies say

ROWAN COUNTY, N.C. — An Ohio man was arrested on Tuesday after being caught performing sexual activities with a teenager, according to the Rowan County Sheriff’s Office.

Deputies said they responded to a home after receiving reports regarding a breaking or entering incident. At the home, the owner told officials that they found 49-year-old Stacy Lee Austin inside with their 15-year-old child.

An investigation revealed Austin drove to the victim’s home from Belmont, Ohio, after communicating with the teen on social media. In those conversations, Austin tried to arrange to pick up the juvenile, and while he was at the victim’s home, he performed sexual activities with them, according to deputies.

Deputies said they were able to locate Austin’s underwear in the trashcan of a bathroom in the home, along with some of the juvenile’s clothing.

When questioned about the incident, Austin admitted the sexual acts to deputies and said he was concerned about losing his job as owner of a Chick-fil-A in Ohio.

Deputies said Austin has been charged with a statutory sex offense with a child. He is being held in the Rowan County Detention Center under no bond due to the Pretrial Integrity Act.

A mother of two teenagers said it’s important for parents to be vigilant on social media.

“I try not to smother them,” said Erin Reynolds, a mother. “You know, try to respect them but I do check just about every other day.”

Channel 9 reached out to Chick-fil-A and a spokesperson provided the following statement: “We have zero tolerance for the type of serious conduct alleged. Stacy Austin currently is an independent franchise owner, but as the investigation and legal process continues, he will not be present in the restaurant.”

VIDEO: Chick-fil-A operator accused of sexual misconduct with a minor in Lancaster