Wed, Oct 17, 2007 - Page 7 News List

Alleged `videotape' rapist arrested


Police said they had arrested Chester "Chet" Arthur Stiles, the man accused of videotaping himself while raping a three-year-old girl.

Las Vegas police Sergeant John Loretto confirmed the arrest but declined to elaborate. Loretto said police would provide details at a news conference late on Monday.

Stiles, 37, had been the focus of a nationwide manhunt since police identified him as the man who raped and sexually assaulted a girl in a homemade videotape that surfaced last month in the rural town of Pahrump, Nevada.

The girl was found with her mother in Las Vegas on Sept. 28. Now seven years old, she has been described as happy and healthy, with no memory of the 2003 encounter with Stiles.

Authorities had sought the public's help in finding Stiles, who was wanted on state and federal warrants in a case in which he was alleged to have groped a six-year-old girl in 2003.

Police were also looking into an allegation that he had sexually assaulted a young girl in 2001.

Police say they had received hundreds of tips about Stiles, whom they had called dangerous and possibly armed. Stiles had previously been arrested on charges including assault, battery, resisting a police officer, auto theft, leaving the scene of an accident and contempt of court, authorities said.

He was convicted in 1999 in Las Vegas of carrying a concealed weapon, and in 2001 of conspiracy to commit grand larceny.

He pleaded no contest in Houston in 1993 to unlawful carrying of a weapon.

Nye County District Attorney Bob Beckett said others have characterized Stiles as a "survivalist type" who claimed to have weapons, a Navy SEAL background and who always carried a knife.

The man who turned the tape in, Darrin Tuck, 26, was arrested last month on a probation violation charge and was likely to face pornography charges, Beckett said.

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