Girl seen being assaulted on tape is found safe, Nev.authorities say

Saturday, September 29, 2007

LAS VEGAS -- A young girl who was seen being sexually assaulted in a homemade videotape has been found and is safe with relatives and sheriff's officials, an investigator said Friday.

"We found the victim. She's safe," Nye County sheriff's Detective David Boruchowitz said.

Widespread media accounts of the case led to the crucial tip that helped find the girl, Boruchowitz said. He did not provide details of her identity, where she lives or how she was located.

A man being sought for questioning, Chester Arthur Stiles, remains at large, said Nye County Sheriff Tony DeMeo.

"For us, he is a person of interest. We want to talk with Mr. Stiles about the identity of the female victim," DeMeo said in a telephone interview.

Earlier in the day, authorities put the name "Madison" to the haunting face of the young girl authorities believe was 4 or 5 years old when she was raped and sexually assaulted in the video.

Stiles, 37, whose last known address was Las Vegas, is wanted on an unrelated state warrant on a charge of lewdness with a minor younger than 14 and a federal charge of being a fugitive, DeMeo said.

Investigators determined that the video of the attack was recorded over the video of an 11-year-old girl taped in October 2005 through a window of a Pahrump home, DeMeo said.

Officials identified that girl, now 13, after releasing photos taken from the video and matched to records of a "peeping Tom" report at her home. No one was found outside the girl's home when deputies arrived, and the girl wasn't assaulted, authorities said.

A 26-year-old Pahrump man, Darren Tuck, surrendered the tape to Nye County sheriff's investigators Sept. 8 and told investigators he found it in the desert five months earlier, Boruchowitz said.

Tuck was arrested on suspicion of promoting child pornography and possession of child pornography, both felonies, and released without bail pending an appearance Nov. 26 in Pahrump Justice Court. The top charge carries a possible sentence of up to life in prison.

Tuck's lawyer Harry Kuehn called it "irresponsible" for authorities to say it had been five months since Tuck found the tape, but he declined to say when it was discovered.

Kuehn also stressed that the Nye County district attorney had not filed formal charges against his client. He said the tape was found wrapped in a plastic shopping bag and hidden beneath a fallen sign used as a launch pad for jumps and tricks by dirt cyclists.

Another lawyer for Tuck, Thomas Gibson, has characterized his client as an innocent middleman who should be credited for giving the tape to authorities.

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