Source AP ©

Fugitive brought to trial for child molestation

An escapee was put on trial Wednesday for the videotaped child molestation.

Chester Arthur Stiles, a fugitive, did not enter pleas, but deferred a reading of 24 charges and said he could not afford a lawyer.

He was arrested quietly during a traffic stop Monday, telling the officer, "I'm tired of running," police said.

Stiles had been wanted since Oct. 5 on warrants issued for 20 felony charges in connection with the acts seen on the videotape. The charges include lewdness with a minor, sexual assault of a minor and attempted sexual assault of a minor.

The videotape, found in the rural Nevada town of Pahrump last month, had prompted an intense search for the girl, who police say was either 2 or 3 at the time of the assault.

Police had encouraged news organizations to broadcast her haunting image. She was found Sept. 28.

In the video, Stiles is shown committing a variety of sexual acts on the girl, according to a police report released Tuesday. Stiles addresses the girl by first name and repositions the camera himself, the report said.

The girl's mother said she recognized her daughter's dress, striped sheets and a wooden armoire in an apartment they moved from before the girl's third birthday.

Police believe the attack may have occurred while the mother was at work and the girl was left with a baby sitter.

The U.S. attorney has unsealed a federal indictment against Stiles for production of child pornography, which could result in 15 to 30 years in jail and a $250,000 (Ђ176,678) fine. On Tuesday, police took his DNA sample.

The girl's mother is so angry that she wants to kill her daughter's assailant, attorney Jerry Donohue said Tuesday after speaking with the woman, who refused interviews.

"On one level, she said she's relieved that he's off the street," Donohue said. "On another level, she's a little disappointed that he didn't keep his promise not to be taken alive."

Donohue said the girl, now a 7-year-old second-grader, "clearly has no memory of any molestation, which is good." But he said she has been interviewed by medical professionals and police, and "she knows something's going on around her."

Stiles was already wanted on state and federal warrants in a case alleging he groped a 6-year-old girl in 2003. Police had received hundreds of tips on Stiles, who they believed might be dangerous and possibly armed based on earlier arrests.

The man who turned in the videotape, Darrin Tuck, 26, remains in custody after appearing Monday in a Pahrump court on a probation violation charge. He is due to appear next Monday on a felony pornography possession charge, his lawyer said.

Tuck told Nye County sheriff's investigators he found the tape beneath a fallen sign in the desert. DeMeo alleged that Tuck kept the video for several months and showed it to other people before turning it over to detectives.

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