A 24-year-old convicted sex offender appeared in U.S. District Court Monday in Missoula, Montana. William Richard Nielsen is charged with coercion and enticement of a minor for luring a 12-year-old girl from Sheridan to his apartment in Missoula. Nielsen allegedly persuaded the minor to come Missoula via bus from Sheridan, after several weeks of chatting with the teen on the Internet site MySpace.
The girl boarded a bus from Sheridan late Tuesday night, January 4th and arrived in Missoula on Wednesday, January 5th. Charging documents state that over a four-day period, Nielsen furnished alcohol and drugs to the minor and sexually assaulted the girl repeatedly while she was there. During an interview with Missoula Police detectives, the minor stated that she tried to leave, but Nielsen refused to let her do so.
The victim's father used the MySpace site to connect with Nielsen by posing as one of the girl's friends and offering drugs to him. Sunday morning Missoula Police were dispatched to the Bridge Apartments on a disturbance call involving several individuals that were arguing in front of the building. When officers arrived, they found Nielsen, the victim, the victim's father and several others engaged in a heated argument outside of Nielsen's apartment.
Nielsen was arrested and charged for his crimes, while the minor was taken to the hospital for medical treatment. Aside from being sexually assaulted while at Nielsen's apartment, charging documents indicate that the girl had numerous bruises and marks on her body consistent with slapping, biting, and sucking. During questioning, when Nielsen was asked if he was ever going to let her go, Nielsen replied “that he probably could not let her go until she was 18 years of age.”
Nielsen was previously convicted of Sexual Assault in Montana District Court, where the victim in that case was also a 12-year-old female. The charges of coercion and enticement of a minor carry with it a prison sentence of up to 20 years and a fine of up to $250,000.