Police: Woman, 21, had relationship with girl, 13
A 21-year-old Shrewsbury Township woman is accused of having a relationship with a 13-year-old girl she met in the summer, according to charges filed by Southern Regional Police on Tuesday.
Grace Elaine Charnigo, of 4 Still Pond Drive, is charged with involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person younger than 16, statutory sexual assault, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors and child pornography, among other charges, police said.
Police say the woman and the girl had a relationship, and Charnigo took the girl places and gave her a phone to contact her with. Charnigo is also accused of performing sexual acts on the girl, according to police.
Messages: Police started the investigation on Oct. 13, when the girl's mother reported to them that her daughter had been sexually assaulted, according to police. The mother explained she found a cellphone in her daughter's room that the girl was not allowed to have. While looking through the phone, police say the mother discovered text-message history between her daughter and Charnigo.
The mother found messages between the girl and Charnigo regarding oral sex they allegedly performed on each other, as well as the teen sending naked pictures to Charnigo, police said.
The girl told police she met Charnigo over the summer, when Charnigo was babysitting a friend of hers, police said. She said during that summer the two of them had become close, and Charnigo took the girl to Hersheypark, and on the way home, Charnigo kissed her, according to police.
"(The girl) stated she was uncomfortable about this and did not know what to do," charging documents state.
Alleged relationship: After that, police say the two stayed close and began a relationship. Documents state that the two would go places together, and "Charnigo would kiss and touch her everywhere."
The girl's phone was taken away, so Charnigo gave her a phone so they could talk, police said. Charnigo's contact name in the girl's phone was labeled "my princess," according to police.
The teen told police that Charnigo sent her pictures of herself naked and in her bra, according to authorities.
She also told police that in early October, Charnigo inappropriately touched her at her home when no one else was there, charging documents state. Police say the teen told Charnigo how old she was, and Charnigo asked her to not tell anyone because she would get into trouble.
Charnigo: On Oct. 14, Charnigo spoke with police. She said her interaction with the girl was described as a relationship, and she admitted to sending the girl several photographs but said they were not of her naked, police said. Charnigo told police that the girl sent her naked photos, charging documents state. She also admitted she kept a picture of herself performing a sexual act on the teen, police said.
Charnigo told police she was intimate with the girl about six times, police allege.
"She stated to me that she knew in her head it was wrong and 'iffy' but had never forced (the girl) to do anything," the officer wrote in charging documents.
Charnigo was arraigned Tuesday in front of District Judge Laura S. Manifold and was released on $5,000 unsecured bail, online court records state.
A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Nov. 10 at Manifold's office.
— Reach Christopher Dornblaser at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter at @YDDornblaser.