Todd Tackwell was 35 when he met the victim, who was 13 at the time, through an Internet chat room. He was busted by a Pleasanton police officer who grew suspicious of the relationship between the two during a traffic stop.
Pleasanton police Officer Matthew Kroutil broke the case on the afternoon of July 23, 2010, when he stopped Tackwell's pickup truck because it had a cracked front windshield. The victim was in the passenger seat.
Kroutil suspected something was wrong after questioning the pair. He separated the two and continued questioning. Over the next several days, the girl revealed that she'd been in a sexual relationship with the defendant since early 2010, when Tackwell moved to the Bay Area.
She told police she met the defendant in an Internet chat room in October 2009, and that he was 35 and living in Nebraska. The two communicated almost daily until January 2010 when he moved to California.
Sexual contact began immediately, first at her mother's home in San Jose and then at her father's in unincorporated Alameda County. The relationship escalated quickly, with the defendant entering her bedroom through a window on an almost nightly basis and continued until Kroutil made his traffic stop.
After the defendant was arrested, another woman came forward in Lincoln, Neb., and told police she was the victim of similar conduct by the defendant for two years when she was 14 and 15 years old. The woman, now 22, flew from Nebraska to testify at the trial.
A jury in April convicted Tackwell for continuous sexual abuse of a 13-year-old, along with a burglary enhancement for repeatedly breaking into the girl's home to have sex with her.
He also may face federal charges along with similar allegations that surfaced in Nebraska after the case broke here.
Tackwell told police that the day before his arrest, he'd been notified of an indictment against him following an investigation by Homeland Security into a child pornography distribution case dating to 2008.