Affidavit: Burke man sent sexually explicit texts, nude pics to - KTRE.com | Lufkin and Nacogdoches, Texas

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Affidavit: Burke man sent sexually explicit texts, nude pics to 14-year-old girl

Jerry Mettlen (Source: Angelina County Jail) Jerry Mettlen (Source: Angelina County Jail)
ANGELINA COUNTY, TX (KTRE) -

Deputies with the Angelina County Sheriff’s Office arrested a 39-year-old registered sex offender from Burke on Tuesday in connection to allegations that he sent inappropriate text messages and nude photos to a 14-year-old girl and then set up a rendezvous to have sex with her while her mother was asleep.

Jerry Mettlen is still being held in the Angelina County Jail on a third-degree felony online solicitation of a minor charge. His bail amount has been set at $75,000.

According to the arrest affidavit, ACSO deputies were dispatched to a home in the county in reference to a possible online solicitation of a minor on Aug. 5. The alleged victim’s mother told the deputies that she found some inappropriate messages on her daughter’s phone between the girl and Mettlen, the affidavit stated.

When an ACSO investigator spoke to the girl’s mother on Aug. 11, they set up an appointment for the alleged victim to speak to a forensic interviewer at the Harold’s House Children’s Advocacy Center in Lufkin. 

The alleged victim’s mother said her daughter had been acting strangely in regard to anyone seeing her telephone, the arrest affidavit stated. She also noticed a higher data usage on her daughter’s phone.

The alleged victim’s mother took the phone away from her and found numerous inappropriate text messages between the girl and someone referred to as “crybaby.” According to the arrest affidavit, the telephone number attached to the nickname belonged to Mettlen.

During the forensic interview, the girl identified Mettlen as the person on her phone. She said Mettlen asked her to contact him on Facebook in December of 2015, the affidavit stated.

The alleged victim and Mettlen exchanged phone numbers and started texting each other, the affidavit stated. The girl allegedly told the interviewer that their conversations were “normal” until the July 4th weekend.

According to the affidavit, Mettlen began telling the girl that he loved her and that he wanted to “be with her.” Eventually, Mettlen said he wanted to have sexual intercourse with the girl, and they set up a meeting at her house after her mother went to sleep, the affidavit stated.

“[The alleged victim] stated Jerry snuck into her bedroom window, but she changed her mind about having sex with him,” the affidavit stated. “[The alleged victim] stated they just ‘kissed and cuddled,’ touching each other over their clothing.”

The alleged victim’s mother gave the ACSO investigator permission to search her daughter’s phone. He found numerous sexually explicit texts between Mettlen and the 14-year-old girl, the affidavit stated.

During the interview, the alleged victim also said that she and Mettlen exchanged nude photos of each other on the Snapchat app, the affidavit stated.

The affidavit went on to say that when the ACSO investigator called the telephone number attached to “crybaby,” Mettlen answered the call and identified himself.

In 2007, a federal judge sentenced Mettlen to 70 months in prison after he pleaded guilty to owning and distributing more than 100 images of child pornography. While he was on federal supervised release, he agreed to go back into federal custody for another three months. After the additional time in a federal prison, he was required to do an additional 27 months of supervised release.

According to a criminal complaint filed in 2007, Mettlen, who lived in Angelina County at the time, owned approximately 127 pornographic images depicting children in sexual activity. The complaint alleges he distributed those images in Gregg County, and the images were found on a personal computer federal agents seized from Mettlen's home in 2006.

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