A 40-year-old failed Virginia political candidate, who police describe as a "a well-known advocate" for pedophilia, was arrested in Denver with a 12-year-old girl authorities say he had convinced to run away with him from her California home last week.
Fresno Police and the Fresno County Sheriff's Office received a report that a 12-year-old Fresno girl was missing on December 14. Detectives determined she may have been "coerced into running away with an older man," according to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
Detectives suspected she had flown out of Fresno Yosemite International Airport with a man she met through social media in October, and that they had flown to Washington, D.C.
Fresno Airport Police and Homeland Security Investigations said a man identified as 40-year-old Nathan Larson had been seen with a young girl boarding a plane for D.C. Detectives contacted Denver Police to alert them about the flight's layover there, asking them to find the pair.
A Denver Police officer assigned to the local FBI Task Force located Larson and arrested him at the Denver Airport, and agents rescued the girl. She was uninjured, and was reunited with her family in Fresno later that Monday night.
Detectives alleged that Larson, a Virginia resident, flew to Fresno, traveled to the 12-year-old girl's home, and convinced her to sneak out of her house around 2 a.m. They allegedly took a ride-share to Fresno Airport.
Investigators said Larson made the girl wear a wig to alter her appearance, and "told her to act as though she was disabled and unable to speak to ensure she would not converse with anyone at the airport," according to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
Larson, who lives in Catlett, Virginia, was held in the Denver County Jail on a misdemeanor charge of harboring a minor. The Fresno County Sheriff's Office said they will request Larson's extradition to Fresno to face felony charges of kidnapping; child abduction; soliciting child pornography from a minor; and meeting a child for the intention of sex.
Authorities said on Thursday, Dec. 17, Fauquier County Sheriff's detectives in Virginia, Homeland Security agents and an Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force executed a search warrant at Larson's home in Catlett, Va.
Larson's 69-year-old father allegedly assaulted a Homeland Security agent during the search. He was arrested for assault and battery. Electronic devices were seized from the residence.
Detectives said Nathan Larson is a white supremacist and "a well-known advocate" for pedophilia, and runs a website that "encourages the raping of children and sharing of naked photos and video of children being raped," according to the Fresno County Sheriff's Office.
In 2017, Larson lost a race for political office as an independent, seeking to become a member of the Virginia House of Delegates.