14/08/2014 12:55 BST | Updated 22/05/2015 06:12 BST

Girl, 15, Had Affair And Suicide Pact With 37-Year-Old Family Friend

Girl, 15, had suicide pact with 37-year-old family friend she had affair with

A 15-year-old girl ran away with a 37-year-old family friend before making a suicide pact.

The teenager said she had a three-year relationship with Robert Messer, who she had known since she met him at church when she was just five years old.

The girl, from Salem Township, Michigan, U.S., told a court that she and Messer had sex 'often' before running away together last month.

Messer was arrested when the pair were found in a field with superficial wounds on October 29. He now faces four counts of criminal sexual contact and one count of accosting a child for immoral purposes.

Messer's ex-wife and mother of his two teenage children accused the pair of an inappropriate relationship a year ago, but both the teenager and Messer denied it.

However, after Messer and his wife divorced, he and the teenager went on to continue their relationship before deciding to carry out a suicide pact.

On October 27 they left her home at 8am and told her mother they were going hiking. They left behind a note stating they were in love and their intentions to commit suicide, the girl told the court.

After eating breakfast at his home, watching a movie and having sex, they headed to Maybury State Park in Northville. They decided they would kill themselves with folding knives in the woods, she said, insisting that the decision had been mutual.

When they got to the park, they decided against the suicide and drove back to his home - but saw her stepfather's car and a police patrol car.

The girl said: "I panicked and yelled a lot." Instead they drove to a field and stayed there for two days in Messer's pick-up truck. They were then found by police and the girl was treated at hospital for superficial wounds.

The maximum penalty for first-degree criminal sexual conduct is life in prison, while third-degree is a 15-year maximum felony. Soliciting a child for immoral purposes is a four-year maximum felony.