A Richmond man has been arrested for allegedly luring two teenage girls from California to Nevada and sexually assaulting one of them, police said today.
Nicholas Rider Wessel, 37, was taken into custody at the Nugget Casino Resort in Sparks, Nevada on Tuesday night after Modesto police alerted authorities in Sparks that the Richmond man was believed to be in the area with two missing girls, according to police.
Wessel allegedly contacted one of the girls, aged 14, on Facebook, Modesto police Sgt. Ivan Valencia said.
The suspect later convinced both the 14-year-old and her 15-year-old friend to come with him to Nevada, the sergeant said.
Once there Wessel brought the girls to a hotel room at the Nugget Casino, where he allegedly sexually assaulted the 14-year-old, according to a statement from Sparks police.
Valencia said that after the girls were reported missing, Modesto police investigators saw that they continued to log into their Facebook profiles and contacted the social media company to access an IP address, which led them to the Nugget.
Police said officers in Sparks detained Wessel and the girls around 7:55 p.m. Tuesday. Officers also found a camera belonging to the suspect containing child pornography images, according to police.
Wessel was arrested on suspicion of kidnapping, sexual assault and production production and possession of child pornography.
He was booked into Washoe County Jail and the two girls were taken to a local juvenile hall.
Valencia said the kidnapping serves as a reminder of the dangers children and teens face on social media.
“Unfortunately, things like this are becoming more common — they usually don’t go to the extreme of going out of state, but it’s something that parents need to keep an eye on,” he said.
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