MORGANTOWN, W.Va. — A Monongalia County man who ran to Florida to avoid conviction has been arrested for sexually assaulting and abusing children.

According to a criminal complaint filed by the Monongalia County detachment of the West Virginia State Police, a man has been charged after sexually assaulting two different child victims in Monongalia County.

James Stieringer

On Oct. 4, 2021, troopers received a call from Clay-Battelle Middle School staff of a 12-year-old girl who gave information that James Stieringer, 42, of Fairview, sexually assaulted her, troopers said.

On Oct. 14, 2021, troopers observed the victim during a forensic interview at the Monongalia County Child Advocacy Center, where she said that Stieringer forced her to perform sexual acts “an unknown number of times,” according to the complaint.

At that time, troopers were unable to make contact with Stieringer, and he did not respond to calls, troopers said.

On Nov. 29, 2021, troopers received information that another victim, a 9-year-old girl, had come forward with information Stieringer had sexually assaulted her, according to the complaint.

On Dec. 10, 2021, troopers observed an interview with the 9-year-old victim who stated she was sexually abused by Stieringer, and that during the incident “she did not know what to do so she pretended to be asleep,” and then “got up and went to the bathroom so the incident would stop,” troopers said.

When troopers spoke to individuals who knew Stieringer, they were told that he “left work on Oct. 7, 2021, and never returned,” and that Stieringer “left all his personal property inside the apartment and has not returned,” according to the complaint.

On Jan. 14, troopers learned that Stieringer had fled to Florida “to avoid any convictions in reference to the sexual offense allegations,” troopers said.

Stieringer has been charged with first-degree sexual abuse, second-degree sexual assault, and two counts of sexual abuse. He is being held in North Central Regional Jail on $150,000 bond.