A Jamaica man has been convicted of kidnapping and raping a teenage girl whom he lured into running away from her home in Canada in 2014, prosecutors announced Tuesday.
Santiago Reyes, 31, was found guilty of second-degree kidnapping and third-degree rape. Reyes is due to return to court for sentencing on Feb. 15, where he faces up to 25 years in prison.
According to charges, Reyes met the then-15-year-old girl, who was living with her family in Toronto, Canada, on Facebook. Reyes communicated with the teen for nine months, urging her to run away after she confided in him about being bullied at school and having strict parents.
In August of 2014, the girl and her family went on a trip to New York City. While her parents were out, Reyes picked up the teen and took her back to his house.
Reyes, who was much older than the girl expected, manipulated the teen into having sexual intercourse with him. When the teenager said that she wanted to leave, Reyes refused and told her there was no going back.
“While social media can be entertaining and informative, it can also be a very dangerous place for youngsters,” said District Attorney Richard A. Brown. “The defendant in this case used Facebook to establish a relationship with the then-15-year-old girl and manipulated her to run away when her family visited New York City. The defendant had sex with the teenager and held her against her will. A jury has now found him guilty and the defendant will be incarcerated for his actions.”