Facebook photos lead to sex charges against restaurant manager

(WMC-TV) – Memphis Police spent hours Wednesday collecting evidence from an Orange Mound home, including a home computer.  The man who lives there is accused of taking photos of a 17 year-old performing a sex act.  Police say William "Mearl" Malone later posted the images on his Facebook page.

"And he put her on Facebook?" said neighbor Ashley Somerville.  "That's awful," she added.

Malone was not charged with aggravated statutory rape until the alleged victim saw the images on-line a year after the sexual relationship ended.

"And I heard he was 47 years old," said Somerville.  "To be messing with a 17 year-old, I know he knows better than that," she added.  "Seriously."

Malone is well known in the neighborhood.  He runs the Crumpy's wing restaurant on Park Avenue.  A longtime employee admitted to Action News 5 that Malone likes the ladies.

"He's a man, like all men," said Ty Jones.  "He's single, so he would talk to young ladies, communicate with them, whatever the case may be," he added.

But Jones believes his boss would never intentionally have sex with a minor.

"If he had sex and she's a minor," said Jones.  "She lied and told him that I'm 21," he added.

The only photos he said Malone ever placed on Facebook were those of his latest wing recipe.

William "Mearl" Malone is also charged with sexual exploitation of a minor.  His bond is set at $150,000.

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