CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- A St. Albans man has been charged with third degree sexual assault after police found him "in what appeared to be a sexual act" with a 12-year-old girl, according to a news release from St. Albans Police.
A St. Albans police officer found Tristan W. Pennington, 18, in a truck parked at the former Belvil Elementary School on Friday night, according to police. When the officer approached the truck he found Pennington with a girl, who said she was 12 years old.
After examining their cellphones, officers found that the two had exchanged text messages where Pennington asked to have sex on Valentine's Day, police said.
Pennington told police that he picked the girl up several blocks from her home, as her parents would not approve of her meeting him, the release said.
If one person is older than 16 and the other is younger, West Virginia state law requires that the age difference be less than four years, to engage in consenting sexual acts. In this case the age difference is more than five years, according to police.
Pennington was released on bail on Saturday. He faces one to five years in prison and a $10,000 fine.