A convicted sex offender is accused of using the Internet to lure a 12-year-old Wyoming girl to Missoula, where he allegedly locked her in an apartment, got her high and repeatedly assaulted her over four days before her parents tracked her down.

William Richard Nielsen, 24, was arrested Sunday after Missoula police were called to a disturbance shortly before 10 a.m. at The Bridge Apartments on West Broadway. The girl's father told police that when he entered Nielsen's apartment, his daughter was naked on Nielsen's bed, according to papers filed in U.S. District Court.

The girl told police that she'd made contact with Nielsen three weeks earlier on the MySpace website and that, after several episodes of "sexting," he pressured her to come to Missoula, even though he knew she was 12, according to the complaint. He told her how to take a Greyhound bus from Sheridan, Wyo., to Missoula and she left the evening of Jan. 4 and arrived in Missoula at 8:15 the following morning, it said.

"Upon her arrival, Nielsen took the victim to his apartment, locked the door and got the victim high on marijuana," then repeatedly assaulted her, the complaint said.

Nielsen, who stands 6 feet 4 inches tall and weighs 370 pounds, was previously convicted of sexual assault in Missoula County DIstrict Court.

In the most recent case, "the victim tried to leave but Nielsen told her she was not going anywhere," according to the complaint. She told law enforcement that she felt "out of it" during her entire stay with Nielsen.

Nielsen told Missoula police and the FBI, which cooperated on the case, that he knew the girl was 12, that he got her high on alcohol and marijuana, and that he slapped her and bit her and ordered her to call him "daddy," the complaint said. The victim was treated at a hospital.

"Nielsen admits to be into bondage and sadomasochistic activity. Nielsen, being a registered sex offender, admitted that he knew he was in trouble," it said. "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."

The girl's parents allegedly figured out where she was by posing as one of her friends on MySpace, and then telling Nielsen they had drugs available.

Nielsen, who made an initial appearance in U.S. District Court in Missoula on Monday, faces a charge of coercion and enticement of a minor, which carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine and lifetime supervision.

A federal public defender was appointed for him Monday.

Reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, gwen.florio@missoulian.com or at CopsAndCourts.com.

 

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