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Riverside man accused of grooming, raping 12-year-old he met online

A 30-year-old Riverside man was arrested on accusations that he groomed and sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl he met on social media.

Robert Downing Scott Jr., 30, was arrested Wednesday after child sex abuse investigators identified him as a suspect in multiple sexual assaults against the girl.

According to the Riverside Police Department, Scott met the girl on social media and over the next six months groomed her and committed multiple “aggravated sexual assaults” on the girl.

Investigators also learned that Scott had a previous conviction for unlawful sex with a minor in 2021 and is currently on probation.

Scott was arrested and booked into the Robert Presley Detention Center to face multiple child sex abuse charges and is currently being held on $3 million bail.

Detectives believe there may be other victims who have not yet come forward. Anyone with information about the investigation is urged to contact Detective Casey Reid at 951-53-7120. You can also submit an anonymous tip by email.

Police say this arrest is an important reminder for parents and children to be aware of the dangers and risks associated with social media and the ease of which a person can become victimized by sexual predators. Crimes like these often start as friendships and will devolve into meetups with the abuser using coercion, manipulation or threats to get what they want.

Parents are encouraged to monitor their child’s online activity and make sure they aren’t talking with strangers, agreeing to meet strangers in person and never send personal information or photos to someone they don’t know.

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