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UPDATE: Fort Wayne man charged with child molestation & rape of an 11-year-old girl

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AUBURN, Ind. (Fort Wayne's NBC) - Auburn police say 29-year old Jeffrey Lockhart used social media to contact an 11-year old girl he didn't know, then groomed her for a sexual assault they say took place in his car near her own home.

Lockhart is charged with child molesting and rape and Friday was being held in the DeKalb County Jail on $50,000 bond.

The mother of the girl called Auburn police July 18 and said she'd discovered a string of inappropriate text messages on her daughter's phone.

Police say they found nude photos of a man sent to the girl, originating from a phone belonging to Lockhart.

There were some explicit photos of the girl sent back to him.

The girl was taken to a forensic center and during an interview eventually shared that the man had come to her neighborhood two days before and had sex with her inside his car, continuing the assault after she asked him to stop.

Police say Lockhart started messaging the victim July 9 on Snapchat.

Soon after, they started exchanging texts and that it didn't take long before Lockhart pressed for an in-person meeting.

The detective working the case says the victim agreed to the meeting, but she expected someone about her own age to show up.

"They're very, very good at what they do, I mean when you're looking at the timeline, you're going from…communication started on the 9th and the meet happened on the 16th. So that's a short period of time where a person was able to groom an 11-year old child," said Auburn police detective Aaron Quick.

The detective says he has contacted Snapchat to get copies of any messages Lockhart may have exchanged with this victim or other young girls.

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Emilia Miles

Emilia Miles joined Fort Wayne’s NBC in September 2019 as a Social Media and Digital Content Manager. Emilia also serves as a producer. She’s a Fort Wayne native and graduated from Indiana University.

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