A Milton man has been charged with sexual assault on a minor under 16 after the victim used text messaging to seek help.



Santa Rosa Sheriff's Officials say Charles Edward Ewing, 51, Lambert Lane, Milton, was arrested on Saturday, charged with sexual assault by a custodian, sexual battery victim older than 12, younger than 16. The victim told deputies Ewing has been assaulting her sexually since she was seven years old, reports say, but when she reported it to family or friends, no one believed her. The allegations included inappropriate touching and digital penetration.



The arrest Saturday came about after a man approached a Santa Rosa Sheriff's uniformed deputy and told him he should check a car parked at the closed Tom Thumb near Skyline on Hwy. 87.  The man, Clifton Carter, told the deputy a text message was sent from a young teen saying that Ewing was trying to rape her, in the vehicle, according to the sheriff's report.



Carter told the deputy  (unnamed witnesses) found the victim in a vehicle with Ewing as described. She was in the front seat, crying and Ewing was in the back seat. She allegedly told officials Ewing had been trying to coax her into the back seat for sex.



At the Sheriff's Department, Ewing was questioned by sheriff's deputies who say he denied the allegations. Further investigation revealed the victim received text messages from Ewing over a period of time, according to reports, making sexually suggestive statements to the juvenile.



Deputies say they were able to ascertain the messages, saved on the girl's phone, came from a phone believed to be Ewing's.  There was enough probable cause and evidence, based on statements obtained from the victim and text messages, to make an arrest. Ewing was charged and is currently being held on $150,000 bond.