An Emmitsburg man was denied bail after sheriff’s deputies said he raped a 12-year-old girl he met on Snapchat while pretending to be a 14-year-old boy.
John Warren Compton, 36, of the first block of William Court, was arrested at 7:50 p.m. at Rocky Ridge Municipal Park on Motters Station Road, where he had arranged to meet the girl a second time. Unbeknownst to Compton, sheriff’s deputies had taken control of the girl’s social media accounts to get him to discuss what happened in his first meeting with the girl and to set up the second meeting, according to charging documents filed in Frederick County District Court.
Immediately after hearing the charges, which included the sexual solicitation of a minor, Compton said, “She was 18 when I met her,” without any prompting or questioning, according to the documents.
Later, after agreeing to speak with investigators, Compton admitted he had sex with the girl after picking her up from her relative’s house one night in early August, but maintained that he met the girl on Tinder, a dating app, and that she had presented herself as 18 years old, the documents state.
“I like them young,” Compton said after telling deputies that the girl told him she was 18, according to the documents.
Compton also denied pretending to be 14 while messaging the girl when detectives asked him about it.
The girl contacted law enforcement on Aug. 16, about a week after she said she had been raped, the documents state. The girl said she and Compton started talking in July on Snapchat, a social media messaging app, and that she told Compton she was born in 2005.
Compton then told the girl that he had the same birth date, but was two years older than she was, according to the documents.
After a string of ensuing messages, the girl agreed to see a movie with Compton and arranged for him to pick her up at her relative’s house, the documents state. The girl thought Compton would arrive with his parents, saying she was surprised when a man arrived to pick her up at midnight.
The girl said she was nervous, but couldn’t exit Compton’s van because he quickly started driving to his house. There, Compton forced himself on the girl, ignoring her when she told him to stop and pinching her when she tried to yell, the documents state.
Compton drove the girl back at about 5 a.m. and did not try to contact her again until Sept. 6, when he sent her a Facebook message. Compton eventually provided his cellphone number.
Sheriff’s deputies tried to arrange several calls between Compton and the girl that they would listen in on in order to get Compton to confess to illegal activity, but the girl agreed to do only one call that Compton ended after a short time, saying he was at work, the documents state.
The girl refused to take part in any more calls, telling detectives she was afraid to speak to Compton, at which point sheriff’s deputies arranged to take over her social media accounts.
In a series of messages beginning Nov. 21, Compton arranged to meet with the girl again on Sunday and discussed in detail specific sexual acts he intended to perform with her, the documents state. Compton also sent four photographs of himself, including two of him exposing himself.
Upon his arrest, Compton was charged with second-degree rape, sexual solicitation of a minor, and third- and fourth-degree sex offense, court records indicate.
Compton remained quiet at his bail review hearing Monday afternoon, allowing Assistant Public Defender Kali Friedmann to present his case before District Judge Earl W. Bartgis Jr.
“We would ask that the defendant be released and allowed to go back to work,” Friedmann asked the judge, citing Compton’s long history of employment in the area as well as his family, including children of his own, that tie him to the area and lessen the risk that he will fail to appear for court.
Frederick County Assistant State’s Attorney Tim Gilbert described Compton as a dangerous predator who represented a clear threat to the community, a position Bartgis seemed to agree with.
Bartgis said the case gave him “quite a bit of concern” for both the girl involved as well as children in general and ordered Compton to remain held without bail in the Frederick County Adult Detention Center ahead of a preliminary hearing scheduled for Dec. 19.