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Missouri man accused of giving 11-year-old an STD says the girl catfished him online

A 23-year-old Missouri man was sentenced to five years supervised probation after he pleaded guilty to molesting an 11-year-old girl, according to court documents

Joseph Meili of Russellville met the girl on an online dating app then picked her up and took her to a Springfield, Missouri, apartment, KJLU reported.

There, police said Meili sexually assaulted the girl, during which time she was reported missing, according to the News Tribune.

When she returned home, the girl told police about the encounter and eventually tested positive for chlamydia, the Springfield News-Leader reported. Meili’s lawyer said the girl told Meili she was 18 years old, “effectively [catfishing]” him, according to the newspaper .

Meilli was arrested and charged in 2017.

McClatchy has reached out to Republic Police Department and Green County Sheriff’s Office for more information about the case.

This is a developing story and will be updated.

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Dawson covers goings-on across the central region, from breaking to bizarre. She is an MSt candidate at the University of Cambridge and lives in Kansas City.
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