Local man accused of forcibly raping teenage girl he befriended on Facebook

SARATOGA SPRINGS, N.Y. (NEWS10) – The Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department arrested a man they say befriended a 16-year-old girl on Facebook and then forcibly raped her.

Police say Marshall Gaudet, 29, of Malta, N.Y., aka Jimmy Johnson, convinced the girl to send explicit photos of herself and then threatened to release them if she didn’t agree to meet him.

When they met, Gaudet is accused of bringing her back to his residence and raped her. Police say he threatened to release the photos if the girl went to police.

Saratoga County Sheriff Michael Zurlo says Gaudet used a fake identity as well as a bogus Facebook page to lure the girl.

The girl contacted police in early July, but police say it took weeks to identify Gaudet. He was identified with the help of his distinctive vehicle – a black car with an emblem that reads “Zombie Outbreak Response Team.”

During his arrest, police say Gaudet had several chats with other girls on his computer.

Police say they found detectives found sexually explicit videos and images of a 15-year-old on Gaudet’s electronic devices.

Gaudet is charged with 1st degree rape by force, 2nd degree rape of a victim less than 17 years of age, possessing a sexual performance of a child, and 2nd degree coercion.

He was arraigned and is being held in lieu of $10,000 cash or $20,000 bond.

At his Malta home, no one wished to speak on his behalf.

Round Lake Fire Department says he was let go several years ago after he failed to show up to a minimum number of fires. Police say he proudly posted photos of himself as a volunteer firefighter.

Sheriff Zurlo says about 20 girls have been identified online. Now his entire detective staff is working to locate them.

Anyone with similar experiences is urged to contact police.

The investigation is ongoing.

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