A man from Anaheim in California, Sean Michael Rickard, has pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor he reportedly met on Tinder, leading to a 16-month sentence.
Reports indicate that the girl was just 12 years old at the time of the incident, and the man was additionally charged with distributing pornographic materials to a minor.
It is not clear what the girl was doing on Tinder in the first place since the platform is supposed to filter out inappropriate connections of this type.
This part of the story was not considered in court, however. The girl had initially claimed that she was 19 years old, although she did confess to her real age shortly before meeting the man for the first time.
He, however, did not seem to care too much about the age of his potential partner and proceeded to meet her in person.
The incident was then noticed by an onlooker who alerted authorities.
A female student reportedly saw the girl getting into a car with an adult male, and took a photo since she suspected that something was odd. The young woman went and told her mother about it.
Cpl. Anthony Bertagna stated: “She told her mom she thought it was weird, so the mom did the right thing and contacted the school and the school did the right thing and contacted us.”
Police then launched an investigation into the man and eventually arrested and charged him with sexual intercourse with a minor. However, according to reports, the relationship was still consensual on both ends.
This did not seem to move the court in any way, as they proceeded to hand down the sentence to the alleged offender.
Some details of the case remain unconfirmed, but at this point, the man has already received his sentence and is going to prison.
The case has left some online commenters confused and wondering why the man did not back away from the situation when he found out the girl was underage.
Some are also saying that Rickard got a sweet deal in light of some of the harsher sentences in recent weeks when it comes to sexual contact with a minor.
Rickard has been in police custody since his February 27 arrest.