Sex offender won’t face NC charges after taking teen girl to Missouri

MONROE, N.C. — Police in our area say they can’t charge a sex offender who drove off with a teen girl.

On Oct. 13, a 16-year-old from Monroe disappeared and was found two weeks later in Missouri with a convicted sex offender. Now, police in Monroe told Channel 9′s Genevieve Curtis that the sex offender, 30-year-old Christopher Porter, won’t face any charges here because of the age of consent in North Carolina.


Monroe investigators said Porter began speaking to the teenager on an app. They said he drove from Oklahoma to pick her up and took her to Missouri.

“He targeted this child,” Monroe Police Department Capt. Steve Morton told Curtis.

Ring doorbell video shows the teen leaving her home to meet Porter.

“He’s a pedophile, is that a fair statement?” Curtis asked Morton.

“That would be fair,” he said.

Morton said because the 16-year-old left on her own and told police her relationship with Porter was consensual, there wasn’t anything law enforcement in Monroe could charge him with.

“Oh it’s very frustrating, especially in cases like this,” Morton said. “16 years old, that’s still a child, but that’s not the way the law is.”

North Carolina is one of 31 states where the age of consent is 16 years old. Previous attempts to raise the age to 18 have failed in the General Assembly.

Had the pair stayed in North Carolina, Morton said Porter would likely be a free man today.

“If she consented to all of these acts, there’s nothing anyone could do about it,” he said.

But because the two traveled to Tennessee, where the age of consent is 18, and Missouri, where the age of consent is 17, Morton says the FBI was able to bring federal charges. Those include statutory rape, sexual exploitation of a minor, and possession of child pornography.

Morton said federal charges carry a tougher punishment anyway. But this is far from the first or last case in the state, and police say the predators use the age of consent to their advantage.

“Until it’s changed, this what we have to work with and we will do the best we can,” Morton said.

Porter remains in St. Louis in jail facing those federal charges.

(WATCH BELOW: Convicted sex offender charged after Union County teen found safe, police say)

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