20-year-old facing life in prison for alleged kidnapping of Montrose teen
Anthony Drayton allegedly took the 15-year-old to Toledo and engaged in inappropriate sexual conduct
MONTROSE, Mich. (WJRT) - A 20-year-old from Toledo is facing up to life in prison for allegedly kidnapping a teenage girl from the McDonald’s in Montrose last week, taking her back to Toledo and having inappropriate sexual relations.
Anthony Drayton is facing one count of kidnapping and three counts of first-degree criminal sexual conduct for allegedly befriending the girl on three social media outlets, grooming her and taking an Uber from Toledo to Montrose for the alleged kidnapping.
All three charges against Drayton carry up to life in prison if he is convicted. He remains in custody at the Genesee County Jail on $400,000 cash bond.
Genesee County Sheriff Chris Swanson said Drayton and the girl had been communicating on Snapchat, Fortnite and a new app called Discord for about three weeks. He said Drayton “started filling her heart and her head with promises” before coming to Montrose.
Swanson said the one-way Uber ride from Toledo to Montrose cost Drayton $136.
“He was told on the way up here by his own friends circle, don’t do it,” Swanson said.
Once Drayton met up with the girl at McDonald’s, they allegedly hitchhiked their way south to Detroit and took another Uber ride from there back to Toledo.
“He used the vulnerability of a little girl and used access to Fortnite and Discord and Snapchat to groom and drive up here and assault her,” Swanson said.
The Montrose Township Police Department began investigating the case Thursday afternoon and asked for assistance from the Genesee County Sheriff’s Office GHOST team. They worked with the Toledo Police Department to track down Drayton and the teenage girl.
“You, the people, helped us because you were ferocious by giving us tips and leads and we followed through and we found her,” Swanson said.
Drayton was arrested and two sheriff deputies traveled to Toledo and picked him up. Swanson said the deputies talked with Drayton on the way back to Genesee County and obtained evidence from him to support the four charges filed by the Genesee County Prosecutor’s Office.
In a separate case this week, the GHOST team assisted with the investigation into a 12-year-old girl from Flint Township who also was groomed online and abducted. She also was found safe. Swanson did not share more details of that investigation.
He said the GHOST team stands ready to activate at a moment’s notice whenever police learn about a child in danger.
“GHOST is there like the sheepdog to protect,” Swanson said.
But he also called on parents to pay close attention to their children’s activities online to prevent abductions and sexual assaults before they happen.
The Genesee County Sheriff’s Office is partnering with Voices for Children to educate parents on social media outlets that are popular among children nowadays and what parents should be watching for. The online event is planning for Jan. 28.
“We’re going to go over this and we’re going to teach you what you need to know,” Swanson said.
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