||10-17-2007 12:05 PM
Fugitive arrested for videotaped rape of 3-year-old girl...
Fugitive Is Arrested in Videotaped Rape of Girl
By THE ASSOCIATED PRESS
Published: October 17, 2007
LAS VEGAS, Oct. 16 (AP) — A fugitive accused of raping a 3-year-old girl on videotape was arrested quietly during a traffic stop, telling the officer, “I’m tired of running,” the police said Tuesday.
The fugitive, Chester A. Stiles, 37, was pulled over late Monday in Henderson, Nev., for not having a license plate on his car. Mr. Stiles provided an expired driver’s license with a photograph that did not look like him and claimed to have forgotten his Social Security number before giving up, the police said.
Capt. Vincent Cannito said Mr. Stiles was wanted on warrants for 21 felony charges in connection with the acts on the videotape. The charges include lewdness with a minor, sexual assault and attempted sexual assault.
The videotape, found last month in Pahrump, Nev., had prompted an intense search for the girl who appeared in it. The police, with little to go on, had encouraged news organizations to broadcast the image of the girl.
When the girl, now 7, was found with her mother in Las Vegas, the authorities shifted their resources to finding Mr. Stiles.
The girl has been described as happy and healthy, with no memory of the 2003 encounter.
Mr. Stiles was booked at the Clark County jail. He had not yet hired a lawyer, the police said.
Toddler rape suspect appears in court
(CNN) -- The man arrested in connection with the videotaped rape of a toddler appeared on Wednesday in a Las Vegas court.
Chester Arthur Stiles, 37, was taken into custody Monday night after a Henderson, Nevada, police officer pulled over the white Buick Century he was driving.
Stiles appeared before Judge Deborah Lippis for his initial court appearance on arrest warrants with 21 counts, including a charge of lewdness with a minor, sexual assault and the use of a child in the production of pornography, the court statement said. One of the lewdness charges stems from a 2004 incident, while the other 20 are related to the videotape, the court said.
Jerry T. Donohue, the attorney for the girl's mother, told CNN that the child on the videotape was younger than 3 when the abuse occurred.
Henderson Police Officer Mike Dye said he pulled over Stiles' car Monday night because it did not have a license plate and became suspicious when the driver gave him an expired California driver's license with a photo that did not look like him.
Dye said he and another officer, Mike Gower, questioned Stiles until he admitted his identity.
"He finally told us, 'Hey, I'm Chester Stiles. I'm the guy you're looking for,' " Dye said. "At that time, he said, 'I'm sick of running.' "
Dye said Stiles was calm and cooperative.
Stiles, a resident of Pahrump, Nevada, was turned over to Las Vegas Metropolitan Police and booked into the jail in Clark County, where he had been sought in connection with the videotape, which shows a girl being sexually assaulted.
The girl, who is now 7, was found last month after a nationwide search.
A former girlfriend of Stiles' said that, before the arrest, she lived in fear after going to police to identify the suspect after seeing enhanced photos from the videotape on the local news.
"I've had my share of nightmares," Elaine Thomas told CNN's Nancy Grace.
Thomas said she screamed when she recognized the photos on television and had no choice but to contact police about the man she had thought was a "weapons enthusiast" with only a minor criminal record.
"How could I not tell them who that man was? That little girl suffered unimaginable things, and I knew for a fact it was him," Thomas said.
The tape was given to authorities by Darren Tuck, who told police he had found it in the desert five months before handing it over. Because of the delay, during which Tuck allegedly showed the tape to others, he faces charges of exhibiting pornography and possession of child pornography.
He turned himself in to authorities in Nye County, Nevada, earlier this month.
Professionals have evaluated the girl in the videotape since she was found, and she appears to be "healthy and fine and happy," her mother's attorney said this month.
The mother had not known her daughter had ever been victimized and was apparently oblivious to efforts to find her until late last month, Donohue said.
"A family friend called her and said, 'My God, you need to turn on the TV. I believe that is your daughter,' " Donohue said.
Donohue said the mother recognized Stiles, a former animal trainer.
The alleged abuse most likely occurred while the mother -- a single woman working six days a week -- was at work, Donohue said.
Another former girlfriend of Stiles', Tina Allen, said this month she thinks she is the reason Stiles came in contact with the girl and is "mortified" by the allegations against him.
"He said he'd been in the Navy and, you know, I was looking for a strong guy to represent to my sons what I thought they needed to be," Allen said.
Allen said she took Stiles to a crowded apartment where her son and daughter lived.
Also living in the apartment were a family friend and her daughter, the alleged assault victim. Todd Allen, Tina Allen's son, said he recognized his old apartment from scenes in the video.