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American Fork man accused of sexually preying on 4-year-old arrested in Ohio

By Andrew Adams and Ben Lockhart, | Posted - Oct 26th, 2016 @ 10:53pm



AMERICAN FORK — An American Fork man accused of sexually abusing a 4-year-old girl at random was arrested Wednesday in Ohio.

Royce Brandon Schaefer, 31, was arrested around 1:30 p.m. in a rural area near Columbus, said American Fork Police Sgt. Cameron Paul.

Schaefer was arrested without incident while he was at work, according to Paul. Police used information posted to Facebook and intelligence from Utah's Statewide Information & Analysis Center to pinpoint his location, the sergeant said.

Schaefer was charged Oct. 10 in 4th District Court with sodomy of a child and aggravated sexual abuse of a child, both first-degree felonies. Court documents allege he approached a 4-year-old girl at an apartment complex at 445 E. 500 South on June 4 and bit her on the genitals.

Besides allegedly biting the girl "really hard," in her account of what happened, investigators say Schaefer kissed the girl on the face. Charges also accuse him of suggesting he "intended to transport (the girl) to another location" at the time.

The girl was outside a friend's residence and eating macaroni shortly before the ordeal.

Witnesses described a man matching Schaefer's appearance at the apartment complex at the time. He also allegedly admitted to being in the area at the time and noticing the girl. However, police didn't believe they had enough evidence to arrest him after interviewing him on June 9, though they did obtain a DNA sample from him.

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A sexual assault kit showed there was male DNA on the girl's underwear, but the quantity of those findings were not enough to make a comprehensive DNA profile, according to investigators in the case.

Paul said it's likely that Schaefer was trying to avoid arrest by moving to Ohio from American Fork.

"We do believe that he was attempting to evade us and kind of lay down low," he said.

The sergeant said it's a relief to have Schaefer in custody.

"We wanted to find him badly," Paul said. "We want our children to be able to go out and be safe. We want to know that something like this isn't going to happen. And so there definitely is a feeling of relief that we were able to get him off the street."

Schaefer could be transported to Utah within the next few days, though Paul didn't know whether he would fight extradition.

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Ben Lockhart

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