Sheriff says internet rape case is "disturbing"

David Patterson found himself behind bars Wednesday, accused of raping two girls.

In Patterson's Harvard Street neighborhood, residents didn't want to talk about him on camera.  Off camera, they said they were shocked by the charges against the 24-year-old married electrician, a man described by many as nice.  But investigators say Patterson preyed on children.

"Its certainly a disturbing case considering two young people, young girls are involved," said Shelby County Sheriff Mark Luttrell.
The 12 and 16-year-old girls claim the rapes took place early Tuesday morning in a neighborhood near Whitten and I-40.  According to investigators, the 12-year-old started talking to Patterson last year after a friend met him in an internet chatroom.  The girl told investigators that while her mother slept, she allowed Patterson to come in through a first story bedroom window. She said the girls watched movies with Patterson, and he then fondled and raped them.

Because of the victims' ages, Patterson is charged with statutory rape, rape of a child, and aggravated burglary.  Luttrell said this case should serve as a warning to all parents.

"Adults be very mindful of what your young people are doing on the internet," he said.
Now investigators are scouring the internet to see if more victims may be out there.

Meanwhile, Patterson is scheduled to make his first appearance in court on Thursday.  If you have any information about this case, call the Shelby County Sheriff's Office.