SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ per month for 3 months
SUBSCRIBE NOW
99¢ per month for 3 months

FBI: Rescued teen thinks she’s pregnant by sex offender

Robert Snell
The Detroit News

Detroit — A 15-year-old Center Line girl rescued Monday in Tennessee thinks she was impregnated by a 36-year-old sex offender who was arrested while driving her to Florida, where they planned to live as husband and wife, according to the FBI.

Federal court records provide the backstory leading up to Monday’s arrest of Timothy Fulgenzi and describe a five-month relationship between the convicted sex offender and his girlfriend’s biological daughter.

Fulgenzi was charged Wednesday in federal court with transporting a minor with the intent to engage in criminal sexual activity — a 10-year felony — and failing to register as a sex offender.

The criminal charge comes two days after Fulgenzi and the girl were found at a Subway restaurant in Lebanon, Tennessee.

The girl told FBI agents she and Fulgenzi were involved in a sexual relationship for five months. He had proposed and they were headed to Florida to live as a married couple, FBI special agent Brian Max wrote in a federal court filing.

While searching the girl’s cellphone, agents found text messages between Fulgenzi and the girl in which the girl said she thought she was pregnant, according to court records. In one conversation, Fulgenzi acknowledged being the father.

Police earlier confirmed that Fulgenzi was the boyfriend of the teen’s biological mother, an account also given by the girl’s adoptive mother.

Meanwhile, the FBI “conducted open area searches in the vicinity of I-275/9 Mile Rd. with regard to the investigation and subsequent recovery of a young Center Line girl that had gone missing,” according to an email from FBI spokesman and special agent David Porter.

Fulgenzi was convicted in 2001 of fourth-degree sex offense in Michigan. The offense involved an underage girl.

According to the FBI, Fulgenzi had been dating the Center Line girl’s mother for the past year.

Two weeks ago, the girl traveled to Tennessee to visit an aunt. There, the girl told the aunt that she and Fulgenzi were involved in a sexual relationship and that they planned on living together once she turned 16, according to court records.

On Saturday, the girl, her biological mother and Fulgenzi were staying at a Farmington Hills hotel. At one point, the mother left the room.

While she was gone, her relatives learned about the alleged sexual relationship between the girl and Fulgenzi, according to court records.

In a series of text messages, the girl’s relatives confronted Fulgenzi. He denied being in a relationship with the girl. Minutes later, relatives called Farmington Hills police and asked them to check on the girl at the hotel.

By the time an officer arrived, Fulgenzi and the girl had disappeared.

Two days later, on Monday, Fulgenzi called Farmington Hills police from a restaurant in Tennessee and said he was not traveling with the girl.

Fulgenzi said he left the girl near the Farmington Hills hotel on July 25.

The FBI traced the phone call to a restaurant in Lebanon, Tennessee. When local police arrived, they found Fulgenzi and the girl, according to court records.

Under questioning, the girl denied being involved in a sexual relationship with Fulgenzi.

The next day, however, she changed her story.

After returning to Michigan and while being treated at a hospital, the girl told hospital staff and her guardian that she had been involved in a sexual relationship with Fulgenzi, according to court records.

rsnell@detroitnews.com

(313) 222-2028