Experts on cybersecurity often remind parents to monitor their children’s online activity. One St. Thomas mother recently did just that. As a result, a man described as a family friend is being held in jail on $100,000 bail.
According to court records, the mother saw suspicious activity on her minor daughter’s tablet computer and took it to the Virgin Islands Police Department Domestic Violence Unit. During the visit, the parent told police she heard a phone ringing.
When she followed the sound, the mother discovered the ringing came from the tablet in the minor’s bedroom. The child was sleeping; the mother told Detective Tamia Freeman that she picked up the device and recognized the number that the call came from.
“She recognized the number on the screen … that belonged to Mr. Marvin Stancliffe, a family friend and a male that she had previously dated,” the detective said in documents filed in Superior Court.
After questioning the child, the mother inspected the tablet, then took the device to the police station. Investigators found call records and explicit photos of sexual activity between the defendant and the female minor. Later that day, the parent returned to the station along with the minor.
Police also posed questions about the calls and the images found on the tablet. The child told authorities about the circumstances that led to the alleged encounters with Stancliffe. Documents filed in the case showed the defendant was facing charges for a prior offense at the time and was awaiting a resolution to his case.
It took detectives several days to reach Stancliffe by phone. When they did, in late November, they asked him to visit the station to discuss a matter that came to their attention. Freeman said the defendant was warned the discussion might involve a violation of his pretrial release.
The defendant turned himself into the police domestic violence unit on Dec. 3 without incident, the detective said.
At a hearing held Monday in Superior Court, Magistrate Paula Norkaitis upheld charges of aggravated first-degree rape, unlawful sexual contact, and first-degree assault. Stancliffe was appointed a public defender and ordered to appear at an arraignment hearing on Dec. 23 at 10 a.m.