'Husband,' mom arrested after 14-year-old's 'marriage' discovered

RICHMOND, Texas -- A Sugar Land man is charged with aggravated sexual assault related to the "marriage" of a 14-year-old girl. The teen's mother was also arrested, accused of allowing the marriage.

According to the Fort Bend County Sheriff's Office, Steven Carty, 47, and Cherry Jamila Payton, 39, are behind bars on bonds of $100,000 and $10,000, respectively.

Deputies were led to the couple after a 14-year-old girl told a doctor she was married and sexually active, according to law enforcement. She stated that she had been married since she was 13 years old.

The suspected "husband," Carty, was arrested Monday, while Payton, who was identified as the girl's mother, was taken into custody on Wednesday.

Carty was charged with felony aggravated sexual assault of a child. Payton was booked on a count of endangering a child.

Authorities said there is no marriage license filed in Fort Bend County between the girl and Carty.

The investigation is ongoing.
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