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14-year-old girl says she's married; mother, 'husband' arrested

14-year-old girl says she's married; mother, 'husband' arrested
Posted at 12:04 PM, Jun 23, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-23 12:04:00-04

FORT BEND, TX (KTRK/CNN) - Police said 47-year old man persuaded a young teenage girl that the two were married.

On top of that, the girl's mother was aware of the man's deception.

Steven Carty is 47 years old, more than three times the age of the person who believes she's his wife.

Carty is charged with aggravated sexual assault of a child. 

The girl's mother, 39-year-old Cherry Jamilla Payton, is accused of child endangerment through parental negligence. She, her daughter and Carty all shared the same home, according to the detective.

"She knew that these two were sexually active with each other, so we felt the charge of endangering a child did fit," said Dawn Welch, the sheriff's office special victims detective.

The detective says the defendants told her the marriage was part of their cultural belief system.

"They belong to the Hebrew Israelites, so they're Biblical people. And they follow the laws of the Bible," Welch said.

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

The story was revealed earlier this month when the girl went to see a doctor.

"She was questioned and asked by doctors, and she admitted that she was married," Fort Bend County Sheriff Troy Nehls said.

The girl said she was married to Carty when she was 13, which is not allowed under any Texas law, even with the consent of a parent and a judge.

Copyright 2017 KTRK via CNN. All rights reserved.