JACKSONVILLE, Fla. -- A Jacksonville man accused of taking a 12 year old girl from her Iowa home and bringing her to Jacksonville is not facing kidnapping charges. Action News is asking experts why.
The criminal complaint details what happened to the girl, how she and Carter met and how police found her. It claims Carter knew he was breaking the law by driving to Iowa to get the girl. He's not charged with kidnapping, so Action News went to an expert to find out why.
There are pictures of a happier time for Justin Carter, but the pages inside the criminal complaint paint a different picture. There are allegations no parent ever wants to hear and details of a relationship formed on Facebook that lead to sexual acts with a 12 year-old girl. It tells of that young girl who told her parents her life was ending and a 35 year-old man who drove all the way to Iowa to bring the girl to Jacksonville.
So far justin Carter isn't charged with kidnapping, just crossing state lines to engage in illicit sexual conduct. The FBI won't comment on the charges, but former FBI agent Dale Carson says there are reasons. "This is a stop gap measure to prevent any mistakes, you don't want them to be released and then disappear," said Carson.
Carter's already in jail for unrelated drug charges. Carson says the complaint keeps him there so the FBI can do more investigating. "They have a solid charge on the interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in sexual conduct," said Carson.
The complaint details places and dates Carter took the 12 year-old and had sex with her. Carter led agents to a wooded area near his house, where the girl was found in a tent. Carter claimed he brought her to Jacksonville so she wouldn't commit suicide. According to agents, Carter even admitted to have researched kidnapping laws and knew he could be charged for bringing the girl here. "I find it frightening from a parents perspective that they would take the time to research. It shows premeditated murder," said Carson.
Carter told agents he felt he was justified, but Carson believes it'll lead to more charges. "I'm sure we'll see a charge of kidnapping," said Carson.
The complaint also details how they found Carter. The 12 year-old had made phone calls to him. In fact, it says the FBI stood there while Carter called the girl, and left a message saying he loved her. Carter was arrested at his home on Sunday by JSO. Police found oxycodone and marijuana inside his home and car.