A Union City man is behind bars after police in Randolph County arrested him for child molestation.
The investigation began with an undercover Randolph County detective posing as a 13-year-old girl on a social media site.
According to the Randolph County Sheriff’s Department, Charles Eldridge, 46, started communicating with the fake 13-year-old girl and eventually agreed to meet up to engage in sexual acts with the child late Monday night.
When Eldridge arrived at the meet-up location in Union City, police greeted him and transported him to the Randolph County Jail.
Detectives then conducted an interview with Eldridge. That’s when he admitted to engaging in sex acts with a different, real child under 13-years-old on multiple occasions.
After detectives finished the interview shortly after midnight, Eldridge was booked into jail and initially charged with two counts of felony child molestation, one county of felony attempted child molestation, and one felony count of child solicitation.
Captain Tom Pullins, Randolph County Sheriff’s Department, sent out a release describing the investigation. He also praised the efforts of all involved.
“This case shows a great example of why our investigators engage in this type of proactive policing,” the release said. “By conducting this online sting operation, our investigators were able to uncover an unreported molestation case that had already occurred.”
Eldridge is being held without bond in the Randolph County Jail, pending an initial court appearance.