Missing teen, man she was traveling with taken into custody in Portland

Charles Fontenot
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Charles Fontenot
By Donna M. Perry, Sun Journal
Posted July 13, 2012, at 5:46 a.m.

FARMINGTON, Maine — A Lewiston man and a 15-year-old girl, who was reported missing from her foster home in New Sharon on June 12, were taken into custody Wednesday night in Portland, Franklin County Sheriff Lt. Niles Yeaton said in a release Thursday.

Opal Swearingen was traveling and having a relationship with Charles Fontenot, 30, according to Sun Journal archives.

The U.S. Marshals Service took the two into custody in Portland.

Swearingen has been returned to the custody of the Maine Department of Health and Human Services, Yeaton said.

Fontenot was interviewed by Franklin County Sheriff Detective David St. Laurent and Maine State Police Detective Randy Keaten. He was transferred from the Cumberland County Jail to the Franklin County jail in Farmington Thursday.

Fontenot was arrested on charges of sexual abuse of a minor and criminal restraint, Yeaton said.

A felony warrant for those charges was previously issued. The legal age of consent in Maine is 16.

Fontenot’s bail had not been set as of 3:30 p.m. Thursday. He is expected to appear in a Farmington court on Friday.

St. Laurent previously said that Fontenot refused to return the girl to her home.

Swearingen has family ties in the Lewiston-Auburn area where she lived before she and one of her siblings were placed in a state-recognized foster home in Franklin County.

She left home with Fontenot willingly and left a note with a brother about her plans, according to the Sun Journal archives.

“No other details are available, at this time,” Yeaton said in releases Thursday. “We wish to thank all the law enforcement agencies that assisted in the safe return of Opal. We also thank the National Center For Missing And Exploited Children for their prompt response to getting the information public.”

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http://bangordailynews.com/2012/07/13/news/lewiston-auburn/missing-teen-man-she-was-traveling-with-taken-into-custody-in-portland/ printed on July 24, 2014