Cleveland man charged with harboring runaway, sexual abuse

A 26-year-old Cleveland man is facing three felony charges, including Possession of Child Pornography, Harboring a Runaway Child and Continuous Sexual Abuse of a Child, after his arrest Dec. 18 at his home on S. Travis St.

Justin Lee Bedgood is accused of helping a 13-year-old runaway from the Kingwood area hide from her parents and authorities, and having an inappropriate relationship with her.

“She was reported missing by Houston Police Department but we became involved because they were in the Cleveland area,” said Det. Sean Mitchell, who is investigating the case for the Liberty County Sheriff’s Office. “She was not inside his home when we arrived. She was behind an RV parked in the backyard of the property.”

According to Mitchell, Bedgood became acquainted with the young girl through his sister, who is a friend to the victim. Despite their 13-year age gap, the Bedgood and the teen allegedly became involved in a relationship.

Mitchell said Bedgood had inappropriate photos of the teen on his cell phone, leading to the charge of Possession of Child Pornography.

The girl was taken to Bridgehaven Children’s Advocacy Center in Dayton for interviews and released to her parents.

Bedgood is being held at the Liberty County Jail on bonds totaling $150,000.


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