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April 7, 11

NEWS / William Richard Nielsen Pleads Guilty in U.S. Federal Court

The United States Attorneyís Office announced that during a federal court session in Missoula on April 5, 2011, before U.S. District Judge Donald W. Molloy, WILLIAM RICHARD NIELSEN, a 24-year-old resident of Missoula, pled guilty to coercion and enticement of a minor. Sentencing has been set for July 20, 2011. He is currently detained.

In an offer of proof filed by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cyndee L. Peterson, the government stated it would have proved at trial the following:

NIELSEN spoke to a 12-year-old girl via Livelinks live chat line. The girl resided outside of the state of Montana and NIELSEN resided in Missoula. At first, NIELSEN believed the girl was 18 years old. But, during the phone conversations, the girl disclosed that she was only 12 years old.

NIELSEN and the girl exchanged phone numbers and began sexting and having phone sex. NIELSEN asked the girl to come to Montana, promising her drugs. The girl did not know how to get to Missoula. NIELSEN instructed her to take the bus, then called the bus station and provided her with bus schedule information.

On January 4, 2011, the girl stole money from her motherís wallet, bought a bus ticket (in NIELSENís last name so she would not be identified as a minor), and traveled to Montana. NIELSEN picked the girl up at the bus station and walked her to his nearby apartment. In the following days, NIELSEN repeatedly engaged in sexual intercourse with the girl. During that time, he also provided marijuana to the girl, which he obtained using his Montana Medical Marijuana card.

NIELSEN faces possible penalties of a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and could be sentenced life, a $250,000 fine, and lifetime supervision.

The investigation was a cooperative effort between the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Missoula Police Department.




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