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Man charged with sexually assaulting and abusing runaway girl

A 22-year-old man is facing several felony charges in connection to last week's human trafficking sweep where 56 missing kids were found. Police say Derrick Sewell sexually assaulted and abused a teenage girl who ran away from home three years ago. (Photo: Genesee County Sheriff's Office)

GENESEE COUNTY, Mich. - A 22-year-old man is facing several felony charges in connection to last week's human trafficking sweep where 56 missing kids were found.

Police say Derrick Sewell sexually assaulted and abused a teenage girl who ran away from home three years ago.

Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell says the runaway teen was involved in a sadistic torture relationship that started when she was just 13 years old.

Now the man who police say, made her fear for her life is behind bars facing eight counts, five of which carry a life sentence.

Pickell says Derrick Sewell moved into the girl’s parents’ house when she was 13 and started a sexual relationship with her.

He later moved out and the girl ran away from home, moving in with Sewell.

"Nothing good comes from being involved in a relationship like that, when young girls run away from home they're running away from a problem but they're running into a bigger problem," said Pickell, adding things soon turned ugly.

"She was involved in a sadistic torture relationship, she didn't want to have sex with him any longer as she got older and he threatened to kill her," Pickell said.

Those threats turned into physical abuse.

"On one occasion, he took out a knife and cut her feet and inner thigh. On another occasion while she was taking a bath, he put his hands on her head and neck and pushed her under water in the tub, that's when she thought she was going to die," says Pickell.

Pickell says he also held a microwave over her head threatening to kill her with it if she didn't have sex with him.

A few weeks ago the teen was able to escape back to her parents’ house and that's where she was found last week as police were doing their countywide sweep.

Sewell is facing 8 counts including four counts of criminal sexual conduct, assault with intent to murder and unlawful imprisonment.

"You know five life felonies and a $200,000 cash surety bond signals how seriously everybody is taking this," says Pickell

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