CANTON, GA (The Atlanta Journal-Constitution) – A Cherokee County man was indicted on child molestation and statutory rape charges Thursday, officials said.
Halario Matias Perez of Canton was originally charged only with statutory rape when deputies said they found him having sex with a 15-year-old girl in a parked car about 8:30 a.m. on June 19, according to the arrest report.
The child molestation charge was added after deputies learned Perez was 21 years old, Cherokee County sheriff’s Cpl. Christopher Bryant said.
A resident who lived on the dead-end road where Perez parked called 911 and reported a Ford Mustang had been near her gate for an extended period of time, deputies said.
Bryant wrote that he found the couple in the obvious act of intercourse.
Perez said he knew the girl from a church they attended and admitted he knew she was 15, Bryant wrote in the report, but Perez lied and said he was 18.
When Bryant told Perez he was under arrest on a statutory rape charge, “Hilario became extremely emotional, stating he had made a mistake,” Bryant wrote, “going so far as to throw himself at my feet and begin praying and begging for mercy while grabbing at my boots.”
Though the teenage girl told Bryant she consented to sex, Bryant explained to her that she was not legally able to consent, the report states.
While Perez was given bond on the molestation and rape charges, he is being held in the Cherokee County Adult Detention Center without bond on an immigration hold, the sheriff’s office said.