By Sophia Kazmi
Contra Costa Times
Posted: 08/19/2010 06:29:05 PM PDT
Updated: 08/19/2010 06:29:05 PM PDT
PLEASANTON -- A Nebraska man indicted in a federal child pornography case is facing charges locally after Pleasanton police say he drove across state lines to sexually molest a 13-year-old California girl.
Todd Tackwell was arrested July 24 in Pleasanton and has been in custody at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin since then, Pleasanton Police Lt. Mark Senkle said. An officer pulled over Tackwell in a pickup truck during an earlier traffic stop near Valley Avenue and became suspicious of a 13-year-old girl in the front passenger seat. Tackwell said the girl was his friend.
Based on interviews, the officers believed there was inappropriate sexual behavior occurring between the 35-year-old Tackwell and the 13-year-old girl, Senkle said. Tackwell was arrested on suspicion of child molestation.
Senkle would not say where the girl lives, to protect her identity. The announcement of Tackwell's arrest was delayed because of the sensitive nature and the complexity of the case, Senkle said.
"It's a very serious crime," he said. "This guy is a serious predator."
Tackwell was indicted July 22 on charges of possessing and distributing child pornography stemming from a 2008 federal case.
Senkle said Pleasanton police learned that Tackwell had met the girl online in October when he was living in Hastings, Neb., and first contacted her through an Internet chat room and then by phone.
"It's one of those situations where she was lured
into this relationship with him," Senkle said.
Police say that in January Tackwell drove to California to meet her in person and then allegedly engaged in sexual activity with her during the next seven months.
The girl lived with her parents Senkle said. They were both unaware of Tackwell's existence.
It also appeared Tackwell may have been living in his truck, Senkle said.
He has been charged with continuous sex abuse with a victim under the age of 14 by Alameda County District Attorney's Office. He is being held in lieu of $1 million bail at Santa Rita Jail in Dublin. He is scheduled to enter a plea Sept. 9 in a Pleasanton courtroom.
On the federal charges, Tackwell faces 5 to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the distribution charge and up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for the possession.
Senkle said the investigation is ongoing and asks anyone with additional information to call Pleasanton police at 925-931-5100.