A semi-truck driver from Iowa has been arrested after allegedly raping a teen boy in Idaho who was looking for a ride, East Idaho News reported on Tuesday.
After a yearlong investigation, 31-year-old Kyle Townsend has been charged with one count of lewd conduct with a child younger than 16.
Court documents show that Townsend responded to a 14-year-old boy’s Craigslist ad in February 2015. The teen wrote that he was looking for a ride to Nevada.
Records show Townsend responded to the ad within minutes and told the teen he would give him a ride for free. Townsend and the boy agreed to meet in the Dillard’s parking lot at the Grand Teton Mall.
The teen told detectives Townsend was driving a blue semi-truck. It was later discovered the vehicle was owned by a local trucking company Townsend worked for at the time.
The teen said he entered Townsend’s truck and they drove for a few minutes before Townsend told him to remove his pants.
Court records show Townsend forced the boy to perform sexual acts and then raped him. The teen reported to police he vomited after the assault and Townsend kicked him out of the truck saying the boy was “too easy.”
Investigators obtained video surveillance that shows the teen being dropped off near the Target parking lot in Ammon. The boy called police and reported he had been kidnapped and raped but later said he lied about being abducted.
When police arrived they noted the teen as being visibly shaken and was crying when asked what had happened to him.
Police were able to identify Townsend as a suspect through his cell number and a photo line-up.
They tracked the GPS location of the semi Townsend was driving to the locations and times of the reported pick up, rape and drop off. Police also verified the corresponding locations through cell phone towers used from Townsend’s cell phone.
Weeks after the assault, another teenage boy contacted police and reported interactions with Townsend.
The teen reported that Townsend emailed him nude photos and tried to meet up with him in the Idaho Falls Wal-Mart parking lot. Police obtained a search warrant for Townsend’s email and verified the report.
An arrest warrant was issued for Townsend in January and detectives spent months trying to track him down.
He was located in September and extradited back to Idaho Falls on Oct. 6.
Townsend is held in the Bonneville County Jail on $50,000 bond. He was arraigned on Oct. 7 and will make another court appearance later this month.