Virginia Beach, Va. - A Virginia Beach man has been arrested and charged with the rape of a 14-year-old girl, according to the York-Poquoson Sheriff’s Office.
20-year-old Michael John Baigert Jr. was arrested on October 28, 2013.
A 14-year-old girl reported that she had been raped by a man after meeting him on KIK, which is a smart phone app used to communicate and send pictures. The suspect, Baigert, told the victim he was 16 years old.
"Predators love the internet, the social media, the electronics. It's a whole different world. It's not the predator out there that's going to grab you off the street; it's the predator that's going to find you electronically," explained Lt. Dennis Ivey of the York-Poquoson Sheriff's Office.
The crimes occurred between August 10, 2013 when the communication initially began via the app, and August 27, 2013, when the suspect met with the victim.
On August 27, 2013, the suspect met the victim in the 400 block of Dorothy Drive. Officials say they walked around the neighborhood together and eventually went into a wooded area, where he raped her.
"Is that the face of a predator? What is the face of a predator? The person next door, you know, it's not the monster that you're going to see at Halloween time," said Lt. Ivey.
On October 28, investigators obtained a search warrant for the residence of a suspect that they had developed through the course of the investigation. The search warrant was served at the suspect’s home in Virginia Beach. Later that same night, investigators obtained warrants for the suspect and he was arrested and placed in the Virginia Beach City Jail.
The suspect arrested was 20-year-old Michael John Baigert, Jr. of the 4800 block of Berrywood Road in Virginia Beach. He is charged with Rape, Object Sexual Penetration, and Use of a Communication System to Facilitate Certain Offenses Involving Children.
Being a parent himself, Lt. Ivey says, people need to understand how dangerous the internet and social media can be for children, "I raised two kids, two daughters, and I don't tell anybody to do anything differently than I did myself. You want to know what they're doing. the phone belongs to you, the parent, the service contract belongs to you. You want to have the passwords. You want to check it periodically."
This is an ongoing investigation; investigators are interested to know if there are other victims, officials say.
Anyone with information on this crime is asked to call the Crime Line at 1-888-LOCK-U-UP.
Stay with NewsChannel 3 for updates.