A Kansas man accused of traveling to Mid-Michigan to meet up with a local girl has been arraigned.
Scott Janner was arraigned Wednesday afternoon on seven charges, including four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct.
Saginaw County Sheriff Lt. Miguel Gomez said the 33-year-old man from Johnson County, Kansas, was arrested after allegedly talking to the 13-year-old St. Charles girl on Snapchat and traveling to meet her.
Investigators said he indicated to the victim that he was 17-years-old.
Gomez said Janner convinced the girl to sneak out of her house and he allegedly took her to the St. Charles Motel where she was assaulted.
"Well penetration of a 13-year-old would certainly cause some internal injuries," Assistant Saginaw County Prosecutor Melissa Hoover said. "She was put into the bathroom and she was prevented from leaving."
Saginaw County Sheriff Bill Federspiel said after a sibling noticed the girl was missing, they let her mom know. The mom contacted a best-friend of the girl who told the mom where to find the teen.
The mom called the Saginaw County Sheriff's Office, who in turn called St. Charles Police to meet them at the motel, Federpiel said.
The victim's family also drove to the motel to confront their loved one's alleged assailant.
"I was not going to let him go because I had a frantic mother, a father who was just beside himself," said Marcus Kelley, owner of the motel.
Kelley said he didn't know what was going on, but he knew he couldn't let the guest staying in room 20 leave.
He said a woman drove to the motel and told him a stranger from Kansas has her 13-year-old daughter in the room. They went in and found her hiding in the bathroom. That's when the 33-year-old reportedly tried to escape.
Surveillance video from the motel appears to show the suspect in a maroon car try to get away, but family members and the motel's owner put a stop to that.
"He closed the door and he thought he was going to get away. So I went and slammed my fist really hard on that hood right in front of his window and it startled him enough where he pulled into the snowbank. And he got himself stuck. And he's sitting there spinning wheels and, 'I'm getting out of here.' And I said, 'no you're not. I've got you and you're staying here. And you're going to stay in that car until the police come,'" Kelley said.
The suspect, now identified as Janner, was taken into custody, and his vehicle was impounded.
He was charged on Feb. 20 with four counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct, one count of second-degree criminal sexual conduct, kidnapping, and unlawful imprisonment.
Bond was denied, and he was ordered to have no contact with the victim.
If Janner is convicted on the most serious charges he would face a mandatory life sentence behind bars.
Prosecutors said Janner is a husband, and father of a 13-year-old girl. He is also being investigated for similar crimes in Kansas, officials said.
Federspiel said the suspect may still be on the run had it not been for Kelley's quick actions.
"A shout out to those individuals at the motel. I don't know their names but I'm sure I'll be speaking with them later today or tomorrow to thank them for their act of heroics if you will, to step in and save the day. Otherwise, we may have been dealing with an out-of-state warrant and extradition," Federspiel said.
As for Kelley, he said he is glad he could do his part.
"I just did what I had to do," he said.
Police said the girl was taken to a hospital where forensic evidence was collected.
"There are many parents who will see this and ask, 'what can I do to protect my child,'" Federspiel said.
Federspiel wants to caution all parents to do everything they can to monitor what their children are doing online.
"Learn about the different platforms that exist, and have a great relationship with our kids and their friends. Again, the fact that this mom knew who to call, she knew who to call, there's a best friend. Every child has a best friend. Thank God this best friend told our victim's mother what she knew so that the mom could go and get her daughter," Federspiel said.
The sheriff's office is looking into whether Janner was in contact with other minor females in other states, or if there are other victims in the U.S. The case is still being investigated. If you have further information, contact Det. Biniecki at 989-790-5442.
Janner is scheduled to be back in court in March.
As for Hoover, she said she will do everything she can to get the 13-year-old victim the justice she deserves.
"I think that certainly justice for this particular victim as well as any other potential victim who could be subject to his predatory conduct certainly would be protected as well. So I think that all around it would just be certainly a good thing to make sure that this doesn't happen to anyone else," Hoover said.
Gomez said there are hundreds of sites that predators use.
"Trying to find someone that would be willing to meet up with them," Gomez said.
As a parent, it can be hard to keep track of who your kids are talking to.
"With the Snapchat and the Twitter and all the different types of social media, it is hard to pay attention. But all you can do is pay attention as best you can and hope that they listen when you tell them," said Melanie North, parent.
Gomez said it's all about asking questions and paying attention.
"If your child gets a notification, a ding to their phone and they automatically get up and walk away, find out why," Gomez said.
The internet is a great tool and is capable of great things but people need to be informed of internet safety. You can go to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children website http://www.missingkids.com/home where you will see a link for education leading you to KidSmartz (for kids) and NetSmartz (for adults) teaching internet safety and resources.
To view the interview with Saginaw County Sheriff's Office, click here.