Man accused of traveling from Charleston to Missouri for sex with 13-year-old denied bond

VIDEO: Man accused of traveling from Charleston to Missouri for sex with 13-year-old denied bond

CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - A Charleston man accused of traveling to St. Louis, Missouri twice to have sex with a 13-year-old girl will remain in jail until a possible trial, according to federal court documents.

Ryan Palmieri, 36, waived his right to a detention hearing on Tuesday in Missouri after the government filed a motion asking a judge not to set bond for his release. According to the order, he will have access to his attorneys while detained at a federal correctional facility.

The detention hearing waiver stated that the safety of the community was one of the primary concerns if Palmieri had been given bond and posted it.

A grand jury had previously indicted Palmieri in late May. He’s facing one count of traveling for the purpose of having sex with someone under the age of 18.

According to an affidavit filed in federal court, the incident took place between February and April 2019. During an interview with the girl in Missouri, she told a detective she met Palmieri through the site “MeetMe” and knew he lived in South Carolina. She told investigators that she posted her age as 15 even though she was 13, while Palmieri told her he was 17.

The pair then moved to Skype and later texts where they would send each other nude images and, after several months, Palmieri told the girl he was actually in his 30s, according to the affidavit.

The girl then told investigators that Palmieri went to St. Louis to have sex with her in early 2019 and he stayed in the area in an AirBnB for a week, the affidavit stated. She then said that he came to St. Louis again in April and they had sex again at an AirBnB.

The affidavit also stated that Palmieri bought her new clothes and jewelry, and when her mother asked where she got them, she told her mother about everything that had happened between her and Palmieri. The girl then showed the detective a string of texts between her and Palmieri in which he stated that he “loved” her and that he was scared to go to jail, the affidavit stated.

The detective then contacted AirBnB, which gave him a copy of Palmieri’s driver’s license which came back to his Charleston address, the affidavit stated. The girl then identified him out of a photo lineup on May 2. Palmieri was then arrested by the Charleston County Sheriff’s Office on May 3.

The affidavit also states that in 2015, police were called to a home in Fayetteville, North Carolina where the father of a 17-year-old girl found Palmieri naked in the girl’s closet and he fled on foot after a physical confrontation.

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