A 23-year-old man has been charged with statutory rape and child kidnapping in a case involving a 12-year-old runaway girl from Omaha.
Eh Ger, a refugee from Myanmar, has pleaded not guilty. If convicted, he faces five years to life in prison
The girl was seen running away from her home on Jan. 8. Her parents reported her missing the next day. Omaha police said they suspected she was with Ger.
On Jan. 19, authorities traced the IP address of a photo the girl had posted on Instagram to a home in Milan, Missouri. Officials from the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office and Missouri State Highway Patrol found the girl there,
but Ger was at his first day of work at a nearby pet food plant.
Ger told officials that he has known the girl since 2011 and admitted to having sex with her.
Brian Keedy, Sullivan County prosecuting attorney, said the home where the two were staying was shared with a group of men. The men were questioned but not charged in connection with the missing girl.
Ger told officials he didn’t allow the girl to leave the home without him or talk to the other men because it made him jealous. He also said the girl “would only eat if he fed her food,” according to a probable cause statement.
The girl has been named a ward of the state and placed in temporary protective custody.
Ger’s next hearing is in March.