A Winston-Salem man has been charged by the Stokes County Sheriff’s Office with several crimes related to sex with an underage juvenile following a month-long investigation.
Captain T.W. Sands said Zachary Mercado, 22, of 1023 Cayuga Street, Winston Salem, was charged on Dec. 28 with taking indecent liberties with a child, statutory rape of a child, crimes against nature, and soliciting a child by computer. He is under a $10,000 secured bond.
Sands said police began their investigation after receiving a report of a solicitation of a child over the internet for sexual purposes on Nov. 22.
“A Stokes County detective assigned to the North Carolina Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force began an investigation,” said Sands. “Through investigation Zachary Mercado was identified to be involved in the activity.”
Sheriff Mike Marshall stated “Citizens of Stokes County need to be aware of what your children are doing on their phones, and other electronic devices because there are people out there that are waiting to meet with them for sexual purposes or worse. Please take the time to talk with your children and stress the fact these people are out there.”
Nicholas Elmes may be reached at 336-591-8191 or on Twitter @NicholasElmes.