Michael Anthony Byrne
A Santa Clarita Valley man is accused of sex crimes for allegedly soliciting and engaging in sexual conduct with a 15-year-old girl he met online, officials said Wednesday.
Michael Anthony Byrne, 23, of Canyon Country, was arraigned Wednesday afternoon for five counts — meeting a minor for lewd behavior, two counts of oral copulation with a minor under 16 years of age, sexual penetration by a foreign object and unlawful sexual conduct.
Byrne pleaded not guilty in a San Fernando courtroom Wednesday, and he’s due back in court Dec. 5.
Detectives suspect he used a social media app called Whisper to meet a 15-year-old Santa Clarita girl, officials said. The two then allegedly engaged in a sexual relationship. The crimes happened on or between Aug. 1-16, according to the complaint.
He was arrested Monday at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station after reportedly turning himself in, according to Sgt. Brian Hudson of the Special Victims Bureau of the Sheriff’s Department.
If convicted of all charges, Byrne faces a maximum of seven years in state prison, according to officials with the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office. The charges are much more severe if the alleged victim is age 14 or under, according to state law.
He’s being held at the Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station in lieu of $175,000 bail, according to Sheriff’s Station arrest records.
No other information is available at this time, as the alleged crimes are considered part of an active investigation, Hudson said.