A Texas man has been federally charged with possession of child pornography after he was accused of starting a sexual online relationship with a teenage Black girl, then transporting her from Georgia to Texas.
Robert David Fyke, a 33-year-old man from Lubbock, Texas, was arrested on June 17 and appeared in court on Monday before U.S. Magistrate Judge D. Gordon Bryant.
The 14-year-old girl from Snellville, Georgia, who was identified by a woman believed to be her cousin in a series of TikTok videos pleading for her return and also by Dekalb County police will not be named directly by Atlanta Black Star.
She was “found safe and sound in another state” DeKalb County police said on Wednesday via Twitter. The update came in response to a Tweet identifying the victim as a runaway who was last seen at her father’s home on May 15. Details about what she was wearing last, height and weight were also included. It is now believed the teen was lured out by Fyke on or about May 15, and transported to Lubbock. Authorities said they were working with other agencies to get the victim back home to suburban Atlanta safely.
On Wednesday, DeKalb police also obtained a warrant accusing Fyke of one count of interference with custody, which alleges that he “knowingly or recklessly” took a child away from the person who “has lawful custody of such child.”
The Lubbock County District Attorney’s Office charged Fyke with sexual assault of a child.
According to a criminal complaint, Fyke admitted to law enforcement that he exchanged sexually explicit images with the victim before they met in-person, and continued to take pictures of her after he brought her to Lubbock. Fyke first met the teen through an online group intended for people seeking a relationship with an age gap of 17 years or more. He initially told officers that the victim told him she was 19, but admitted during a polygraph that he knew before picking her up that she was 14.
Police tracked the teen’s cellphone to a home rented by Fyke in hopes of finding her but were initially unsuccessful. Authorities then confronted Fyke at work, and found “numerous sexually explicit images” on his phone after Fyke consented to a search. He told police the teen left him for someone else in either Pennsylvania or Connecticut on June 11.
Investigators also found a handwritten note from Fyke to the victim that said, “I’m sorry … for everything I’ve put you through. I’m sorry for having sex with you and taking advantage of your situation,” Everything Lubbock reported.
Fyke waived his right on Wednesday to be in federal court for a hearing and will remain in custody of U.S. Marshals. A federal magistrate ruled that he must remain locked up while the federal case against him remains pending.
No additional updates have been provided by Dekalb County Police’s official Twitter page as of this writing. It’s unclear if the victim has reunited with her family. The woman believed to be her cousin, confirmed the news on TikTok of the victim’s discovery and but offered no further details out of respect for her aunt and uncle.