PD: Mesa man used Facebook and Uber to connect with minor for sex

Posted at 12:12 PM, Oct 03, 2016
and last updated 2016-10-03 15:12:07-04

A Mesa man used two apps to develop a sexual relationship with a girl he knew was under 15 years old, police say.

Court records show that Mesa police became aware of a sexual relationship between a 19-year-old man and a girl under 15 that occurred over the summer. The two were electronically brought together by Facebook and physically brought together by Uber.

Police report that Joseph Anthony Michael Lopez befriended the victim on Facebook in June. They developed their relationship by sending messages back and forth. Police say Lopez continued the relationship even after finding out the girl's age. 

The girl snuck out of her home several times after midnight, meeting Lopez at his home near Country Club and Main Street after Lopez would send an Uber car to get her and return her home. 

During these times, he allegedly engaged in various sexual activities with the girl.

On one night, the girl was in a car with Lopez when he was pulled over for a traffic infraction and the girl was returned to her parents' home.

Lopez was interviewed by Mesa police on September 22 and was arrested.

He has now been charged with multiple counts of sexual conduct with a minor, child molestation and sexual abuse.