Nebraska man sentenced in sexual abuse of 13-year-old girl | July 27, 2012 | Pleasanton Weekly | |

Pleasanton Weekly

News - July 27, 2012

Nebraska man sentenced in sexual abuse of 13-year-old girl

Crossed state lines after meeting online, snuck into her bedroom 'almost nightly'

by Glenn Wohltmann

A man who traveled from Nebraska to meet up with a 13-year-old Alameda County girl was sentenced July 20 to 25 years to life for the ongoing sexual abuse of the underage girl.

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.


Posted by Grateful resident, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 27, 2012 at 1:54 am

Thank you, Officer Kroutil! Your exemplary work in this case put a very dangerous man behind bars where he belongs.

Posted by Anna, a resident of Another Pleasanton neighborhood
on Jul 28, 2012 at 2:53 am

He wasn't "having sex" with her, he was raping her.
An adult can't 'have sex' with a child, it is by definition rape.
That police officer rescued a child living in hell. Do you know how rare that is?
My heart goes out to all children, the ones in Pleasanton and all over, who are being sexually abused right now, while adults turn a blind eye.
It's so unusual for an adult to choose to see the signs of child abuse.
I highly admire this police officer.
And the child rapist actually got a lengthy sentence; that's rare, too.
If only judges, police and all adults were this protective of children.

Posted by Cholo, a resident of Livermore
on Aug 13, 2012 at 10:49 am

Thank you for your EXCELLENT work Officer Kroutil!