Pennsylvania sex offender accused of sexually exploiting NC teen

Deputies: Man sent nude photos to teen

UNION COUNTY, NC (WBTV) - A 45-year-old Pennsylvania sex offender is accused of having sexual exchanges with a minor.

Deputies say they were notified in June 2018 that a man was exchanging sexually explicit messages with a teen in Union County. Deputies began investigating and identified Christian Winterhalter as the suspect, who they say send nude images of himself to the victim.

Winterhalter was arrested earlier this month in Pennsylvania. Detectives seized evidence they say corroborated with the investigation.

Union county investigators say Winterhalter took his time and precisely laid down some ground work so that the teenager would open up to him by pretending to be someone else.

“As we believe in this case, initially the conversation may have started out as Mr. Winterhalter representing himself as a teenage female,” said Tony Underwood, the Media Relations Representative for the Sheriff’s Office.

“This case is a perfect example of how modern technology provides predators opportunities to exploit children but thankfully we have resources to bring them to justice,” Union County Sheriff Edie Cathey said.

It was the girl’s family who tipped off detectives after they found out the teenager was talking to Winterhalter through social media and email. Officials have searched the home where Winterhalter was staying in Pennsylvania to see if there were any other kids he was interacting with.

Winterhalter will be extradited to North Carolina to face numerous felony charges, including five counts of second-degree sexual exploitation of a minor and one count of disseminating obscenity to a minor.

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