North Logan Man Held On Suspicion Of Sexual Assault Of Teenager
NORTH LOGAN, Utah – A Cache County man has been arrested after police said he posed as the friend of a 13-year-old girl on a social networking site, lured her to his apartment, and sexually assaulted her.
Officials with the North Park Police Department said the 13-year-old received a message on Snapchat that she believed came from a friend she met at school.
According to arresting documents, the girl was then invited to hang out at an apartment. When she arrived, police said 20-year-old Tristan Larson answered the door, grabbed the girl by the arm, pulled her inside, gagged her, and raped her.
“This is crazy, because you never really know people nowadays,” said Veronica Zuniga, an upstairs neighbor. “We have nieces that are around that age. I have a sister around that age, so it’s crazy to think about. You can’t really trust anyone.”
According to documents, Larson told police that the 13-year-old had never visited his apartment, but when officers recited specific descriptions of the inside of the apartment and Larson’s bedroom that the teen had given them, he stopped talking and asked for an attorney.
“That is kind of scary to have someone around like that in the neighborhood,” said Jose Robles, another upstairs neighbor. “It is kind of creepy how people can actually pose as teenagers and all that.”
North Park police told KSL over the phone that there was no reason to believe any other teens could be in danger from Larson. According to a probable cause statement filed in First District Court, Larson had met his victim a few times, and knew her well enough to target her, posing as a friend.
Grant Sperry, vice president of operations at XMission Internet in Salt Lake City, said parents need to stay involved with their teenagers’ lives, both online and off. He also said it can be tough to decipher an imposter by simply looking at an online profile.
“You need to help them develop strategies for making smart decisions. It’s not a one-size fits all sort of approach in my opinion,” Sperry said. “Make sure if they’re inviting you to meet them somewhere that is not normal, verify it… a lot is at stake otherwise.”
Larson was being held at the Cache County Jail on suspicion of rape of a child and possession of marijuana.