Subscribe for $3 for three months

POTOSI, Mo. • One of the stars in the Potosi Police Department’s lip sync challenge video has been charged with seven felonies after police say he admitted to sexual abuse of a teen who was 14 when their encounters started.

Quntazi Jones

Quntazi Jones, a Potosi, Mo., police officer, was charged with seven felonies accusing him of sexual abuse of a teenage girl, who was 14 when it started.

Quntazi Jones, 29, was charged Oct. 5 with four counts of statutory rape and three counts of statutory sodomy. He posted $100,000 bail Wednesday and was released.

Washington County Sheriff Zach Jacobsen told the Daily Journal that on Oct. 3, his department was notified that a Potosi police officer was having sex with an underage girl. He then contacted the Missouri Highway Patrol, which launched an investigation Oct. 4, according to court documents.

At first, Jones told investigators only that he had a “personal relationship” with the teen’s parents, according to court documents.

Ultimately, he admitted to having sexual encounters with the teen more than 30 times — the last of which happened in September while he was on duty, in uniform and driving his police car, according to the documents.

Potosi is about 55 miles southeast of St. Louis in Washington County. Police Chief Michael Gum was unavailable for comment Monday, so it’s unclear how long Jones has worked for Potosi or whether he remains employed there.

Gum told the Daily Journal on Oct. 6 that Jones had been placed on administrative leave.

Police departments across the country have taken on the so-called “lip sync challenge,” creating videos of officers dancing and singing their favorite jams. Potosi’s has had more than 20,000 views.

Jones is one of about five officers who appear in the video.

For his main cameo, Jones lip syncs Celine Dion’s “My Heart Will Go On,” while another officer stands behind him, holding his duty belt as Jones leans forward and stretches his arms to re-enact an iconic scene from the movie “Titanic.”

By the time the video hit YouTube in July, Jones was well into the alleged relationship with the teenager, according to statements Jones made about the timing of the encounters in court documents.

The victim told police she had sexual encounters with Jones at least 20 times, according to court documents.

The first time occurred in April 2017 when the girl was 14, in Jones’ car during a baseball game at the sports complex in Potosi. She told police they had sexual encounters at his apartment and in his car throughout their relationship.

Investigators also found lewd pictures the two exchanged on Jones’ cellphone in a password-protected folder on Snapchat, according to the documents.

Christine Byers is a reporter for the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.