A truck driver from Texas has admitted to having sex with a 15-year-old girl and driving her through "numerous" states before leaving her along an interstate, Illinois officials say.
He was just sentenced on charges of sexual assault of a minor and production and distribution of child pornography.
Javier J. Joiner, 25, of Arlington, Texas, met the teen on social media in September 2018 and began a "sexual relationship" with the girl for months, according to an Illinois State Police news release.
He took videos and photos of the sexual assault and distributed them over an electronic device, police said.
A few months later, the girl tried to end the relationship with Joiner. That's when he physically assaulted the girl and left her along Interstate 55 in Lincoln, Illinois, a small city in the central region of the state, police said.
The teen was interviewed by police and put in the care of child protective services in Illinois.
Joiner later contacted the girl, saying he would return to Lincoln from Ohio to pick her up, police said. Officers stopped him on Interstate 55 near Lincoln and arrested him.
"This case highlights the dangers of young people meeting strangers on social media," Logan County State's Attorney Bradley Hauge said in the news release "The victim, in this case, showed extreme courage by escaping from her abuser and coming forward to talk with law enforcement."
Joiner was sentenced to 20 years in prison on Tuesday. He must register as a sex offender for the rest of his life.