Jeffrey Lockhart

Lockhart

AUBURN — A Fort Wayne man is accused of molesting and raping an 11-year-old girl, whom he met on Snapchat, in Auburn.

Jeffrey Lockhart, 29, of the 9300 block of Barbara Lane, Fort Wayne, was arrested Thursday by Auburn Police on charges of child molesting, a Level 1 felony, and rape, a Level 3 felony.

According to a police affidavit of probable caused filed in DeKalb Superior Court I, Auburn Police Detective Aaron Quick said the case initially began as an investigation of a solicitation of a minor through a text message.

Quick said after reviewing the text message on the alleged victim’s phone, he discovered sexually explicit messages from an unknown male and requests to meet him. The messages were sent from a number determined to be owned by Lockhart.

During an interview, the alleged victim disclosed Lockhart had messaged her on Snapchat, exchanged numbers and began talking over text. She said Lockhart sent nude photos of himself and she also sent pictures and videos of herself, the affidavit said.

The girl said Lockhart set up a meeting with her on July 16 near her home in Auburn. She said Lockhart showed up around 3:30 p.m. on July 16 and parked a few doors north of her residence. The girl told Quick she got into the back seat of Lockhart’s vehicle and he immediately began grabbing and kissing her, according to the affidavit.

She told Quick that Lockhart was wearing a bright yellow shirt, “like he worked in construction,” the affidavit said.

The girl stated that the physical contact progressed and she told Lockhart to stop, but he did not, Quick said in the affidavit. The girl said she told Lockhart to stop again, and he went on for another minute before he quit, according to the affidavit.

On July 23, police interviewed Lockhart’s wife, who stated Lockhart was working a side job in Auburn on July 16 that she had set up for him.

She told police that he left in his vehicle wearing a high-visibility yellow work shirt. When he returned home, he was wearing a new shirt and new underwear. When she confronted him about his new clothing, Lockhart said he got dirty at the job site and bought new clothing at the dollar store, the affidavit said.

Police drove to a job site where Lockhart reportedly was working. They were unable to locate him and called his wife to assist, the affidavit said.

Lockhart’s wife expressed concern that Lockhart was overdosing on heroin due to the investigation, the affidavit said.

Lockhart’s phone was “pinged” for a welfare check and he was located inside his vehicle at a Fort Wayne apartment complex. Lockhart refused to cooperate with an interview and left on foot, the affidavit said.

Police later discovered a folded paper containing a white powder, which tested positive for fentanyl, between Lockhart’s phone and its case, the affidavit said.

Lockhart is being held at the DeKalb County Jail on $50,000 bond.

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