U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Nevada
(702) 388-6336
November 14, 2014

Man Sentenced to 10 Years in Prison for Transporting 14-Year-Old Girl from California to Reno for Sex

RENO, NV—A California man who brought a 14-year-old girl from Richmond, Calif., to the Reno area with the intent that she engage in sexual activity, was sentenced on Nov. 13, 2014, to 10 years in prison and lifetime supervised, announced U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden for the District of Nevada.

Nicholas Rider Wessel, 38, of Richmond, Calif., pleaded guilty in August to one count of transportation of a minor for illegal sexual activity and was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Miranda M. Du. Judge Du denied Wessel’s request for release on bond pending a prison designation.

“If you prey on underage children on the Internet, you face federal prosecution,” said U.S. Attorney Bogden. “The penalties are stiff, and you will be marked as a sex offender for the rest of your life.”

According to the court records, sometime in May 2014, Wessel began communicating with the 14-year-old girl on Facebook and by cell phone texts. During those conversations, Wessel arranged to pick the girl up in Modesto, Calif. and drive her to his home in Richmond. Wessel knew that she was only 14 years old. On May 5, Wessel picked her up, along with another minor girl, and they drove to his home where he engaged in sexual intercourse with the 14-year-old. The following day, Wessel drove the girl to Reno, and they again engaged in sex at a hotel in Sparks, Nev.

The investigation was conducted by the Sparks Police Department and the FBI. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Carla Higginbotham.

The case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood (PSC), a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, PSC marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about PSC, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc. For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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