FRESNO, Calif. (AP) — A self-proclaimed pedophilia advocate who once ran for political office in Virginia has been arrested by authorities who said they caught him flying across country with a 12-year-old girl.
The Fresno County, California, sheriff said Saturday that 40-year-old Nathan Larson had met the girl online and persuaded the girl to run away from home recently. Authorities said the two boarded a plane bound Monday for Washington, D.C., and were stopped on a Denver layover.
Officials say the girl was not injured and has been reunited with her family in California.
Although Larson was arrested on misdemeanor charges, he is facing felony charges in Fresno County for kidnapping, child abduction, soliciting child pornography from a minor and meeting a child for the intention of sex.
Larson allegedly met his victim through social media in mid-October and coerced her into running away with him, police said. On Sunday, Larson flew to Fresno from Virginia and then traveled to the girl’s home.
Around 2:00 a.m. Monday, police said Larson arrived at the victim’s Fresno home in a ride-share vehicle and persuaded her to sneak out of her house. Larson made her wear a long hair wig to alter her appearance. He also told her to act as though she was disabled and unable to speak to ensure she would not converse with anyone at the airport while making their way onto the airplane, according to a Fresno County Sheriff’s Office release.
Witnesses told investigators that Larson was touching the victim inappropriately while seen with the girl at DIA. A Denver police officer assigned to the local FBI Task Force located Larson and arrested him. Agents rescued the girl, who was uninjured, and made arrangements to have her reunited with her family in Fresno, which she was later on Monday night.
According to the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Larson is a white supremacist and a well-known advocate for pedophilia. In 2017, Larson ran for political office as an independent, seeking to become a member of the Virginia House of Delegates representing District 31. He went on to lose the race.
In December 2008, while living in Boulder, Larson sent a detailed email to the U.S. Secret Service threatening to kill the President of the United States. At the time, George Bush was the outgoing president and Barack Obama was the incoming president. Larson pleaded guilty in federal court. In October 2009, he was sentenced to 16 months in a federal prison and wound up serving 14 months.
Larson is scheduled to have a court hearing in Denver on December 24. During this time, an extradition request will be made to transport Larson to the Fresno County Jail.