A 20-year-old West man was arrested Friday night after he allegedly had sexual contact with a 14-year-old girl late last year, West Police Chief Darryl Barton said.

Christopher Lawrence Berartez was arrested after a family member reported a possible sexual encounter in early November that Berartez may have had with a 14-year-old girl in October. Officers took the report and requested the girl speak with a forensic interviewer about the relationship she had with Berartez, Barton said.

According to an arrest affidavit, the girl initially told a family member that Berartez had sexual contact with her and had the girl perform oral sex on him at a home in West. The girl told the forensic interviewer that Berartez had sexually abused her during the incident.

Detectives reported that Berartez initially thought the girl was 16 years old, but he knew how old the girl was at the time of the alleged incident, the affidavit states.

Authorities arrested Berartez Friday on a second-degree felony charge of sexual assault of a child and took him to McLennan County Jail. He remained in custody Monday afternoon with a bond listed at $20,000.

Kristin Hoppa has been covering public safety and breaking news for the Tribune-Herald since January 2016. She worked in Northwest Missouri covering crime-related issues before her move to Central Texas. She is a University of Kansas graduate.

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