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Man, 36, who hid in girl's bedroom closet for more than a month and sexually abused her when parents left, gets 15 years in prison

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Image source: Hernando County Sheriff's Office

A 36-year-old Louisiana man was sentenced to 15 years in prison for having sex with a minor. Johnathan Lee Rossmoine reportedly hid inside the child's bedroom closet for more than a month and would sneak out when the girl's parents left the home so he could sexually abuse the victim.

On Sept. 27, 2020, deputies with the Hernando County Sheriff's Office responded to a 911 call from the parents of the girl, who discovered the man in their daughter's closet. Police arrested Rossmoine at the home in Spring Hill, Florida.

The 36-year-old man met the 15-year-old in 2018 through the online virtual reality app VRChat, which uses avatars in place of actual photographs. The girl told Rossmoine that she was 18 years old during online chats, but when they met she admitted she was only 15. Despite telling him that she was underage, Rossmoine still pursued a sexual relationship and traveled from Louisiana to Florida on several occasions to have sex with the teen, according to WFTS-TV.

Rossmoine told authorities that he had been living in the teen's bedroom closet since Aug. 19, 2020, Newsweek reported. He would hide in the closet until the girl's parents left for work, then have sex with the girl in the home and in his van that he parked nearby.

Detective Tom Cameron, of Hernando County Sheriff's Office, said Rossmoine informed law enforcement that "he and the young lady came up with the idea that he could just stay in her room if he hid in the closet whenever the parents came in."

"They kept the bedroom door closed and locked and whenever someone came to the door it gave them an opportunity to run and hide in the closet and open up the door to where maybe she was changing or something," Rossmoine allegedly told police.

After his arrest, Rossmoine was charged with four counts of lewd and lascivious behavior with a victim between the age of 12 and 16, obscene communication as well as travel to meet after use of a computer to lure a child.

On July 28, Rossmoine pleaded guilty to having sex with a minor and was sentenced to 15 years in prison. Rossmoine will receive 10 years of sex offender probation upon his release and be required to report as a sexual offender for life, according to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office.

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