Ohio Chick-Fil-A owner accused of driving 400 miles to sexually abuse child he met online

An Ohio Chick-fil-A owner has been arrested after authorities say he drove more than 400 miles south to North Carolina to meet a 15-year-old he met online, reportedly broke into the family’s home and allegedly molested the child.

Stacy Lee Austin, 49 of Belmont, was being held without bond at the Rowan County Detention Center Wednesday in connection to the alleged March 5 incident, officials said.

The small village of Belmont is about 110 miles east of Columbus.

The Rowan County Sheriff’s Office, in Salisbury, North Carolina, reported Austin communicated with the child on an unnamed social media app and had arranged to pick the child up in The Tar Heel State.

On the day of the alleged crime, officials said, deputies responded to the child’s home for a report of a burglary in process after the child’s father called 911.

Deputies allegedly found suspect’s underwear in the child’s home

Arriving deputies, the sheriff’s office reported, said the father, who lives in the home, told officers he found Austin with his 15-year-old child and dialed 911.

Inside the home where the child lives, deputies reported, they found Austin’s underwear in a bathroom trash can along with some of the child’s clothes.

A preliminary investigation by detectives revealed and while the suspect was at the victim’s home, he performed sexual activities with the child, the sheriff’s office wrote in a news release.

‘Concerned about losing his job’

“When questioned about the incident, Austin admitted to the sexual acts and was concerned about losing his job as owner of a Chick-fil-a in Ohio,” officials wrote in the release.

Austin was booked into the jail and a judge ordered him be held with no bail until a pretrial hearing occurs.

Austin is is charged with statutory sexual offense with a child and slated to appear in court on the charge June 5, online records show.

USA TODAY has reached out to Chick-Fil-A.

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