The following news release has been issued by the Clay County Sheriff’s Office. All suspects are presumed innocent until proven guilty in a court of law.
Matthew Christopher Mastrom, a 30 year old man, from Bartow County, Georgia has been arrested by Bartow County Sheriff’s Office for travelling to Clay County and transporting a 14 year old female back to his home, where he allegedly had sexual relations with her.
Sheriff Vic Davis said that his office received a report of a runaway, 14 year old female, on Monday, May 26th, at 8:30 AM. Investigator Mark Brantham was assigned to the case and started running down leads in an attempt to locate the juvenile.
The runaway did have her own cell phone to call her friends, according to her father, and when Investigator Brantham asked to see the phone it was discovered that all the incoming and outgoing call information had been deleted by the juvenile before giving the phone to her father.
After further investigation, Investigator Brantham discovered that the runaway has a private phone that her father did not know about and Brantham was able to get the number for the phone. The runaway also had a Facebook account using another name.
Sheriff Davis said that they were able to locate the girl through the cell phone and that’s when they found out that she was located in a home in Bartow County, Georgia.
The sheriff’s office in that county was notified of the runaway girl by Investigator Brantham who also advised that the girl may be in danger of being sexually assaulted.
Deputy Brittney Watkins from the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office was sent to the residence to investigate. After speaking with Matthew Mastrom, Deputy Watkins was allowed into the residence where he located the female hiding in a bathroom.
The female runaway was taken into the custody of the Bartow County Sheriff’s Office to be transported back to her home in Clay County and Mastrom was arrested by Deputy Watkins for Obstructing an Officer and Interference with Child Custody, both misdemeanors. Deputy Watkins then called Investigator Brantham and filled him in.
Investigator Brantham asked Bartow County officials to take Mastrom into custody as warrants were processed.
Investigator Megan Kincer from Bartow County was assigned to investigate this matter to determine if a sexual assault had occurred. After investigating, Investigator Kincer charged Mastrom with two counts of Aggravated Child molestation, seven counts of child molestation, one count of Enticing a Child for Indecent Purposes and one count of Statutory Rape.
Mastrom is being held without bond, according to Sheriff Davis.
The runaway met Mastrom on the internet and had been talking with him for several weeks, the sheriff said.
Sheriff Davis encourages parents to be vigilant about their children’s internet and phone use, adding that there are child predators in every corner of the country looking to prey on our children.
With the charges that Mastrom is facing in Georgia, Sheriff Davis indicated that if Mastrom is convicted of those charges, he will be brought back to Clay County to face the charges here after he finishes his time in Georgia. Mastrom could be going away for a very long time in Georgia noted Sheriff Davis.
The sheriff says he feels relieved that the girl has been located and is back home and is now safe from a child predator.
Sheriff Davis added, “these type cases are high priority when children are missing and it is rewarding to bring a case like this to a conclusion so quickly.”
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