Search For Man Sought In Sex Tape Case Shifts To Las Vegas
Saturday, September 29th 2007, 9:47 pm
News On 6
RENO, Nev. (AP) _ The search for the suspect in the videotaped sexual assault of a little girl was shifted Saturday from a rural county to Las Vegas, where the man was last known to live and where it's believed the chilling tape was made.
Chester ``Chet'' Arthur Stiles was referred to Friday as a suspect as the FBI and Nye County investigators concluded that he was the man seen on the tape molesting a 3-year-old girl.
The girl, who is now 7, was found safe in Las Vegas with her mother, who was unaware of the assault, Nye County sheriff's Detective David Boruchowitz said Friday in Pahrump.
Stiles, 34, has lived in Pahrump, 50 miles west of Las Vegas, but his most recent address was in Las Vegas and that is where he was last seen, two weeks ago, Boruchowitz said at a news conference Friday night.
Las Vegas Metro Police gave little information about the investigation Saturday.
``We have assumed the lead on the sexual assault case. We are conducting an ongoing investigation but have no further details,'' Bill Cassell, the department's public information officer, said tersely.
Stiles also is wanted on an unrelated state warrant issued last year charging lewdness with a minor under 14 years of age and on a federal fugitive warrant.
Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett said Friday that a Las Vegas attorney reported he had been told by a client that Stiles was a knife-packing survivalist who vowed that police would never catch him alive.
Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo said Stiles was a registered sex offender, but he did not provide details.
Las Vegas police have said Stiles had a string of arrests dating back to 1999 on several charges, including assault, battery, resisting a police officer, auto theft, leaving the scene of an accident and contempt of court. He was convicted in 1999 of carrying a concealed weapon and in 2001 of conspiracy to commit grand larceny, according to Clark County District Court records.
The little girl's mother knew nothing about the case or her daughter's involvement until somebody told her they had seen the child on television, Boruchowitz said. ``It was very sad for her to find this out.''
The girl was located after authorities on Friday released information they would not normally disclose in order to get tips from the public, including a picture, DeMeo said. The widespread media attention led someone to call the girl's mother, who contacted police, authorities said.
Authorities said the videotape was made at a Las Vegas residence that did not belong to the girl's family, though her mother recognized furniture seen in still images of the tape. She also recognized Stiles in a photo released by police.
The Associated Press is no longer identifying or releasing photos of the girl because she is a suspected victim of sexual abuse. It did so earlier in the interest of her safe recovery.