The suspect arrested in the case of the disappearance of comedian Rosie O’ Donnell’s 17-year-old daughter is reportedly expected to claim that he relied on Tinder to ensure that the girl was of legal age. Steven Sheerer says he met Chelsea only because her profile showed on his Tinder feed, leading him to believe she was an adult, TMZ reported Tuesday.
Lawyers defending Sheerer, who is a convicted heroin dealer, say that he relied on the Tinder app to separate adult users from minors. Sheerer was charged after he was found with Chelsea last Wednesday. Police officials also found his naked photograph on Chelsea’s phone. He was charged with third-degree endangering the welfare of a child and third-degree distribution of obscenity to a minor, TMZ reported.
Sheerer reportedly believes that the charge of child endangerment is false because Chelsea reached out to him and was not hurt in any way.
Lawyers of the 25-year-old also reportedly said that he is undergoing treatment for drug-related issues.
Officer Nicholas Dapuzzo of the Barnegat Police Department told Daily Mail after Chelsea was found that she did not put up a fight. "She was a little apprehensive. It was written on her face that she didn't want to go. I told her she was a juvenile and she needed medical attention and she needed to come with me,” Dapuzzo said, adding: “She was quiet. We put her bag in the front and she was in the back [of the police vehicle] with her dog and she was fine.”
However, the reason why Chelsea ran away from home still remains unclear.
chelsea has been found and is safe in police custody - thank u all for the help and light #missingchildren
— Rosie (@Rosie) August 18, 2015
when someone u love is drowning in the rapids - u throw everything u can into the water - hoping they will grab on - stay afloat #believe
— Rosie (@Rosie) August 19, 2015