Dad finds half-naked man hiding in closet who allegedly tried to have sex with 12-year-old daughter

HOUSTON -- A Houston father said he found a 42-year-old man, who had allegedly tried to have sex with his 12-year-old daughter, hiding in a closet.

The suspect, Christopher Leonard, has been charged with online solicitation of a minor.

The girl told investigators that she met the suspect on the city light rail a few weeks before the incident, which occurred on Nov. 2, 2018, court documents say.

Court documents said Leonard gave the girl his phone number, and they began contacting each other through text messages and phone calls.

She said he knew that she was only 12 years old. Police later checked Leonard's phone and found sexually explicit messages.

According to court documents, Leonard showed up uninvited to the home while the girl's father was away, telling the girl that he wanted to speak with her.

Meanwhile, the girl's father told detectives that he had stayed the night at the house of a friend who had recently been burglarized and felt unsafe because she lived alone.

Court records show that he said he would periodically call home to check on his youngest daughter and the 12-year-old to see how they were doing.

On the morning of Nov. 2, he got up early to head home and get ready for work. When he got home around 5:30 a.m., the front door was dead bolted.

He went to the youngest daughter's window and got her to open the door.

When he went to his closet to change, court documents said he found Leonard inside, with no shirt on.

Leonard allegedly told him that the 12-year-old had invited him over and claimed that he thought she was 21.

A warrant has been issued for Leonard's arrest.

He has several previous arrests on other charges stretching back to 2010.