CRIME

Volunteer firefighter Justin Baber charged with rape of 13-year-old girl

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After a friendly text message went to the wrong recipient, a volunteer firefighter has been arrested and charged with statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in Spotsylvania County.

Justin Neil Baber. Photo: Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office

When the girl thought she was texting a friend, it went to the wrong number and was received by Justin Neil Baber, according to a statement from the Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office.

Baber, 23, a firefighter with the Chancellor Volunteer Fire Department, responded to the girl and engaged her in a text conversation.

When the girl sent a message saying, "I don't think I know you," Baber continued the messaging and asked the girl if she lived in Spotsylvania.

Eventually, he asked if she could sneak out and meet him if he came to her residential subdivision, police say.

The girl told a counselor that she met the suspect, who was driving a white police-type vehicle with radios in it.

After the girl detailed the incident to Detective Ed Lunsford, deputies identified the vehicle the girl described as the response vehicle for the Chancellor Volunteer Fire Department.

Baber was picked up, arrested, and charged with statutory rape and soliciting over the internet. He is being held without bond at the regional jail.

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