North Carolina woman charged in sex crime involving juvenile

A North Carolina woman was charged with three sexual-related charges of a 15-year-old Rutherford County juvenile she met online, a sheriff’s detective said.

Christie Wighton, 45, of Catawba, N.C., was charged with felony solicitation of a minor to observe sexual conduct, especially aggravated sexual exploitation of a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor by Rutherford County Sheriff’s Detective Amanda McPherson.

The juvenile’s mother became aware after looking through her teen’s phone and finding media accounts with concerning messages, McPherson said. The mother contacted the sheriff’s office. The juvenile apparently met Wighton on social media.

McPherson arrested Wighton when she traveled to Rutherford County to meet the juvenile Sunday.

Wighton was booked into Rutherford County Adult Detention Center where her bond was set at $225,000. A hearing is schedule Oct. 6 in General Sessions Court.

As a precaution, McPherson suggested parents should be aware of their children’s social media accounts and their online contacts.

Detective Sgt. Steve Craig said sex crimes against children online is a widespread issue.

“It’s important for parents to be vigilant and have open conversations for the sake of your children’s safety,” Craig said.

Christie Wighton

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