Salem man arrested on solicitation, sexual misconduct charges

Staff Writer Kate Wehlann

Caleb Fleener, 21, Salem, was arrested on Saturday, Oct. 5, on preliminary charges of sexual misconduct with a minor and child solicitation.

Just before midnight on Oct. 4, a woman called the Washington County Sheriff’s Department to report her daughter, 15, had snuck out of her grandmother’s house and left with man and had sex with him.

Deputy Allen Taylor said in his report the woman told him her daughter had snuck out not long after arriving at her grandmother’s house on South Blue River Church Road that night and the girl’s grandmother had seen the teen get into a car and leave. The girl’s grandmother called the girl’s parents, who came right over.

The girl had left her cell phone at her grandmother’s house and her mother went through it to find she had been talking to Fleener on Snapchat. She said she tried to call Fleener from her daughter’s phone, but no one answered. She sent a text message, “advising him that he better get [victim] back home right now.”

Fleener drove the girl to a place nearby and the girl walked the rest of the way. She told her parents and grandmother that she and Fleener had had sex and hadn’t used protection. The girl told Taylor she and Fleener had been texting and talking on Snapchat for the past two years, since she was 13. She said Fleener had picked her up and taken her to a church parking lot, where they began kissing and then had sex. She said this was the first time they had sex, but they had “messed around” before, on May 19. She said Fleener was the one who had started kissing her and took her clothes off.

Later, around 3:45 a.m. on Oct. 5, Taylor and Deputy Lucas Gray spoke with Fleener at the Sheriff’s Department. He admitted to having spoken with the girl and picked her up. He said, they went to the parking lot and “fooled around a little bit” and that was when the girl’s mother called. When Taylor asked Fleener if he’d had sex with the girl, he replied, “You and I both know we did.”

Fleener said he had known the girl for four years, since she was 11, and said the only protection the pair had planned to use was the over-the-counter “Plan B” emergency contraception. He said he had bought the pill for the girl, but didn’t give it to her.

Fleener was arrested and later released on a $15,000 bond on Monday, Oct. 7.

This marks the fourth arrest of an adult man soliciting and having sex with a teenage girl since the start of September.


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