MADISON HEIGHTS, Mich. (WXYZ) — A man from Madison Heights is accused of sexually assaulting a 12-year-old girl and soliciting explicit photos from the girl on social media.
The suspect, 30-year-old Barron Dukes, is facing five felony charges.
Police say Dukes and the 12-year-old girl were acquaintances who met through other people. Investigators said they communicated through Instagram, Snapchat and text messaging. Duke allegedly asked the girl to send him explicit photos and sent explicit photos of himself.
Several neighbors told 7 Action News they are familiar with the suspect in this case and are disturbed by the allegations, while others had no clue.
David and Connie Matijow live just down the street near Park Court and Eleven Mile Road, where Dukes was arrested by Madison Heights police.
"We cannot believe it. Not in this neighborhood. It's hard to believe,” neighbor David Matijow said.
Connie Matijow said she’s “shocked.”
“There's so many kids running around in this neighborhood. To have something like that happening here, it's unbelievable. I thought we lived in a fairly safe neighborhood," Connie Matijow said.
7 Action News doesn't typically show mugshots, but investigators believe there may be other victims, and they need the public's help.
"We have good reason to believe that there are other victims," Madison Heights Police Department Lt. David Koehler said.
Koehler says the Oakland County prosecutor authorized five felony charges against Dukes:
- First-degree criminal sexual conduct of a person under 13 years old
- Child sexually abusive activity
- Using a computer to commit a crime; 20-year felony
- Child sexually abusive material possession
- Using a computer to commit a crime; seven-year felony
Dukes is currently locked up in the Macomb County Jail on an unrelated charge, police said.
They're asking victims to come forward and for parents to remain aware of what their kids are up to.
"You really have to monitor your child's online activity. Keep up to date and talk to them. Communication with your child to make sure they understand the hazards of social media," Koehler said.
Shirley Blizinski, a mother, grandmother and former teacher of 35 years empathizes with parents in the age of social media and modern technology.
"My children were right about the age when this started, and it was a tricky line to walk trying to monitor them and let them be themselves. And you have peer pressure from your friends and all that kids of stuff," Blizinski said. "It's very concerning, and people need to wake up and monitor. Monitor, monitor, monitor."
If you have any information, Madison Heights police want to hear from you. You can call them at 248-585-2100.