The Faulkner County Sheriff’s Office arrested an Australian man suspected of messaging who he thought were 12- and 14-year-old girls in Mayflower last week.
Andrew Peter Scherell, 57, was arrested Friday on one count of internet stalking of a child, a Class Y felony.
A Mayflower woman contacted Mayflower police regarding an incident where she texted the wrong number and began receiving inappropriate messages from the unknown recipient, later identified as Scherell.
The woman told Mayflower police she “accidentally sent a text message to a wrong number and the receiving party began texting her things of a sexual nature,” according to a probable cause affidavit.
Mayflower police informed FCSO the woman told Scherell she was a 12-year-old girl in an attempt to get him to stop texting her. However, he continued sending her sexually explicit messages, including two photos depicting child pornography.
FCSO took over the investigation, posing as a 14-year-old girl. The investigator told Scherell he was the 12 year old’s friend.
According to the affidavit, Scherell then began to send who he thought was a 14-year-old girl sexually explicit messages, photos and videos. He arranged to meet the girl in Greenbrier, where he planned to fondle her before taking her to a local store and then leave for “someplace more private where he would have sexual intercourse” with the 14 year old.
Scherell said he would arrive in Greenbrier around 6:30 p.m. Friday in a white Chevrolet SUV, bringing with him beer for the minor.
Investigators seized beer and a cell phone as evidence following Scherell’s arrest.
Scherell, who is an Australian living in the United States, is currently being held in the county jail in lieu of a $75,000 bond. Should he post bond, he would be required to surrender his passport.
Scherell is set to appear in Faulkner County Circuit Court at 9 a.m. for a plea an arraignment hearing.