The Oregonian, Portland, Ore.
A man was arrested Friday after sexually abusing a 13-year-old Washington girl, driving her to an Oregon state forest, then getting stuck in the snow and calling for help, authorities say.
Christopher Thomas Knox is accused of attempted second-degree rape and first-degree custodial interference, the Clatsop County Sheriff’s Office said Tuesday. The girl left her King County home without telling her parents, and Knox sexually abused her and brought her to Oregon, the agency alleges.
The girl was taken to a hospital, examined and taken back to her parents, the sheriff’s office said.
Knox, a 37-year-old Hillsboro resident, was arrested late Friday after contacting the sheriff’s office to ask for help with his snow-bound car in the Clatsop State Forest near Knappa, deputies said.
Deputies found the girl with Knox, and he allegedly introduced her as his daughter. They determined the man and girl weren’t related, however, and that the girl left her home without her parents’ knowledge or consent.
The sheriff’s office alleged Knox sexually abused the girl near her home and brought her to Oregon. Investigators also think he may have abused her a second time Friday after 3 p.m. in a state park or rest area between Tacoma and Astoria.
Knox was driving a black 2018 Dodge Journey with California license plates, deputies said. Knox and the girl may have been seen outside the car while wrapped in a blanket, according to deputies.
The sheriff’s office believes Knox initially struck up some kind of an online relationship with the girl’s mother and that he and the 13-year-old girl had been acquainted before they were found together.
The agency asks anyone who saw Knox or the car, or has information about Knox, to contact Detective Ryan Humphrey at 503-338-3633 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Knox is being held in the Clatsop County Jail.
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