Greene County Court sentenced Joseph Meili to five-year probation after he pleaded guilty to third-degree child molestation.
According to police reports, Meili met the girl on an online dating site. The girl used her mom's phone to contact Meili.
A probable cause statement said Meili drove to her house one morning after she sent him her address.
He picked her up in a red car and then drove her to an apartment where he sexually assaulted her. Her mom later reported her missing.
Officers searched the area near the girl's home, knocking on doors, searching nearby woods, and pinging her cell phone.
They finally tracked down her in her bedroom later that night. According to court documents, the officers found her packing a bag and getting ready to leave once again.
She claimed Meili had dropped her back home.
She Catfished Him?
When investigators questioned her further, she said she fell asleep while at the apartment Meili had taken her to. And when she woke up, she felt as though something sexual had taken place.
She also said Meili removed her clothing before molesting her. Investigators confirmed the claims after investigators found semen on the girl's underwear.
After the sexual encounter, the girl tested positive for chlamydia, according to court documents.
In his defense, Meili's attorney said the girl "catfished" his client on an online dating site. She tricked him into thinking she was actually older than she was.
Meili told prosecutors the girl's page on the dating app showed she was 18. And his attorney said that Meili felt horrible when he found out she was actually 11.
Meili then pleaded guilty to one count of third-degree child molestation. He was initially charged with kidnapping, statutory sodomy, and statutory rape.
The court reportedly dropped statutory rape and child kidnapping charges due to a plea agreement.
Prosecutors later sentenced Meili to five years of supervised probation.
He'll also have to register as a sex offender as part of his plea deal. Meili's defense was that the 11-year-old lied to him online and said she was 18, not 11.
During sentencing, his attorney said:
"He's going to be required to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life... It's a tough case. Neither side is really going to get justice here."