A 29-year-old Indiana man was arrested Monday for felony sexual abuse of children after he tried to to crowdfund a trip to see his 14-year-old “fiancée” in Montana.
The girl told police she first met William Eugene White Jr. in person a year ago and that they later connected online through a video game, according to court documents. White was arrested after the girl’s family reported that she had run away, and advised police that she may have run off with him.
The family suspected White after he showed up at their home looking for the girl about a week before she ran away. They asked him to leave and the girl’s uncle threatened White not to return to their property, according to court documents.
The two were found after spending the night together at a homeless shelter in Missoula, Montana.
White, who is being held on $25,000 bail, made his first court appearance Tuesday in Missoula County Justice Court, but did not enter a plea. Justice Mike Frellick prohibited him from contacting the girl or anyone else under the age of 18.
The girl told police that the two didn’t do anything “serious” or “major,” and only said that White once tried to grope her. White said the same, and admitted that the two had kissed and slept in the same bed. He insisted that he did not do anything without the girl’s consent.
White also admitted that he knew the girl was only 14 years old before he traveled to Montana. He said her age made him feel “uneasy” because “he’s not a pedophile,” according to court documents. The girl allegedly reassured him that she wanted to be with him forever and that their age difference didn’t mean anything.
A GoFundMe representative said the couple did not receive any donations and that their site has since been removed.