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Police say man used social media to lure a 15-year-old girl

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Posted: Tuesday, June 3, 2014 3:14 pm | Updated: 3:48 pm, Wed Jun 4, 2014.

GREENEVILLE, Tenn. – A Bristol, Tennessee, man facing 2012 statutory rape charges in Sullivan County was arrested again Friday on similar charges out of Greeneville. Police said both cases involve people contacted through social media.

The Greeneville Police Department reports that Joel David Cormier, 26, of 2111 Highway 126 Lot 21, Bristol, Tennessee, has been arrested on warrants for aggravated statutory rape.

The investigation, the department said, was based on a complaint that a 15-year-old female from Greeneville had met Cormier via the Internet and engaged in sexual activity on two separate occasions. As a result of the complaint, two warrants were taken out for aggravated statutory rape.

On Friday, the Sullivan County Sheriff's Office arrested Cormier on those warrants.

Greeneville police said Cormier had used the aliases “Philip Benton” and “Matt Briarton” and claimed to be 18 years old in the online profiles he had created on the Facebook and MeetMe social networks.

Sullivan County Lt. Andy Seabolt said previous statutory rape charges had been filed against Cormier in 2012. That case has not yet been heard in court, he said.

Detectives in Sullivan County said Cormier told them during an investigation that he had a 16-year-old girlfriend. He told them, detectives said in 2012, that he had been sleeping with the girl and met her through Facebook.

Greeneville police said the investigation is ongoing. Anyone with information related to Cormier or his aliases is asked to contact Greeneville Detective Kenni Carter at 423-783-2802 or a local law enforcement agency.

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