An Erie man accused of having sex with a 14-year-old girl on New Year's Eve was held for court Monday on statutory sexual assault and corruption of minors charges.
City police accused Jeremy J. Hughes, 28, of having sex with the girl at a city residence after the two met at a local Walmart store on the afternoon of Dec. 31.
The girl provided the only testimony during Hughes' preliminary hearing before Erie 3rd Ward District Judge Tom Carney Monday morning. She said under questioning by Erie County Assistant District Attorney Erin Connelly that she and Hughes had met on the dating app Plenty of Fish and arranged to meet at the Walmart, where she had gone to do some shopping with her mother. She said she and Hughes left the store and were driven by someone else to a liquor store, where Hughes bought vodka. They then went to a residence and drank the alcohol and smoked marijuana before they had sex, she said.
The girl said at one point the police arrived at the residence and she left. She said she went to a relative's house and later went to the hospital and spoke with police.
Police were first contacted when the girl left Walmart without telling her mother. A review of surveillance video and other information collected at the store led police to the residence where Hughes and the girl had gone, according to investigators.
The girl said under cross-examination by Erie County Assistant Public Defender Nicole Sloane that she did not tell Hughes that she was 14 until they were at the residence.
Hughes was returned after Monday's hearing to the Erie County Prison, where he is being held on 10 percent of $50,000 bond.
Tim Hahn can be reached at 870-1731 or by email. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/ETNhahn.
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