Local News

Detectives: Fayetteville man paid prostituted teen for sex

Posted April 1, 2009 8:23 a.m. EDT
Updated April 1, 2009 4:28 p.m. EDT

— One day after Cumberland County sheriff’s detectives charged a woman with prostituting a 14-year-old girl to support a drug habit, deputies arrested a cab driver and charged him with paying the teenager for sex.

On Tuesday, authorities announced they had arrested Sandra Panecka, 20. They said she coerced the girl, who was 14 at the time, to run away from home in 2007.

On Wednesday, deputies announced they had arrested Eric Jelmeland, 37, of 5114 Patton St. Authorities say he met with the girl between Dec. 25, 2007, and June 1, 2008.

The girl told investigators that Jelmeland would meet her at an abandoned apartment to have sex, according to officials.

Deputies charged Jelmeland with statutory rape, participating in the prostitution of a minor and paying a minor for prostitution.

He was being held in the Cumberland County Detention Center under an $85,000 bond. He was scheduled to make a first court appearance at 2:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Panecka remained in the Cumberland County Detention Center under an $110,000 bond Wednesday.

Authorities say Panecka introduced the girl to drugs and encouraged her to prostitute herself so they both could continue to buy cocaine. The girl told authorities that Panecka helped her pick up men and then collected the money the girl earned for sexual favors.

Detectives said the girl also told them she was physically assaulted, exposed to various drugs, sexually assaulted and infected with sexually transmitted diseases.

Authorities charged Panecka with facilitating a minor for prostitution, kidnapping, 10 counts of statutory sex offense, 10 counts of participating in the prostitution of a minor, four counts of taking indecent liberties with a minor, five counts of crimes against nature and one count of contributing to the delinquency of a minor.