TERRA ALTA, W.Va. — A Preston County man is in jail after sheriff’s deputies said a domestic dispute call helped them discover that the man was in a sexual relationship with an underage girl.

On May 25, deputies with the Preston County Sheriff’s Department were dispatched to a call of a domestic incident at a home on East State Avenue in Terra Alta, according to a criminal complaint.

Kenneth Ireland

The caller stated that a 16-year-old girl “had been beaten by her boyfriend,” identified as Kenneth Ireland, 22, of Terra Alta, and then ran from his home, deputies said.

When deputies spoke with the juvenile victim, she said that “she was in an intimate and sexual in nature relationship” with Ireland, and that she had “found evidence of him cheating on her on his cell phone,” according to the complaint.

The girl had confronted Ireland about the information, “and a fight broke out.” During the fight, “she bit Ireland several times to get away.” She also said that she was “barely dressed because she and Ireland had sex the night before the incident,” deputies said.

When deputies spoke with Ireland, he confirmed that he had intercourse with the juvenile multiple times, starting when she was 15 years old.

Ireland has been charged with third-degree sexual assault. He is being held in Tygart Valley Regional Jail on $25,000 bond.