Courtroom - Photo courtesy of David Veksler on Unsplash

A probationer accused of cultivating an online relationship with a 12-year-old girl, leading to multiple alleged sexual assaults over a five-month span, is slated to be arraigned Thursday.

Robert Downing Scott Jr., 30, of Riverside, was arrested last month and charged with five counts of lewd acts on a child, three counts of aggravated sexual assault of a child, and one count each of contacting a minor to commit a felony, furnishing child pornography to an underage victim, using a minor to produce child porn, arranging to meet a minor for sex and attempted lewd acts on a child.

Scott is being held on $3 million bail at the Byrd Detention Center in Murrieta.

He’s slated to be arraigned before Riverside County Superior Court Judge Sean Crandell at the Riverside Hall of Justice Thursday morning.

According to Riverside police Officer Ryan Railsback, Scott met the victim, identified in court documents only by her initials, “S.J.,” in early February via social media and “groomed her” in ongoing conversations via the internet.

The defendant ultimately persuaded the girl to see him on several occasions, during which she was sexually assaulted, Railsback said.

The victim eventually told others what had allegedly happened, and the police department’s Sexual Assault-Child Abuse Unit initiated an investigation in the first week of June that netted sufficient evidence for detectives to obtain an arrest warrant that was served on Scott in the area of University and Chicago avenues on the afternoon of June 22, according to police.

“This investigation is a stark reminder to parents and children about the dangers and risks associated with social media, and how easy children can become victimized by sex predators,” Railsback said.

He said it’s possible Scott targeted other girls, and anyone with information was asked to contact the SACA team at 951-353-7120.

According to court records, the defendant has a prior conviction for statutory rape.

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