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Salt Lake actor engaged in secret relationship with teen, charges say

By Pat Reavy, KSL | Updated - Sep 18th, 2019 @ 4:55pm | Posted - Sep 18th, 2019 @ 11:47am



SALT LAKE CITY — A local actor accused of engaging in a “secret relationship” with a teenage girl a few years ago now faces numerous felonies.

James Tyrel Nelson, 46, of Salt Lake City, was charged Tuesday in 3rd District Court with three counts of rape, four counts of forcible sodomy, and object rape, all first-degree felonies. He was also charged with two counts of forcible sexual abuse, a second-degree felony.

Between February of 2014 and March of 2016, a girl told police she “engaged in a ‘secret relationship’” with Nelson, charging documents state. Police say the girl was 15 when the relationship began.

The two engaged in sexual activity in a movie theater, and “on numerous occasions” at Nelson’s home, the charges state. When the girl turned 18, police say Nelson ended the relationship.

Nelson, who goes by the stage name Tye Nelson, studied film production at the University of Utah and has appeared in several movies, according to his bio and IMDb page.

A $500,000 warrant was issued Tuesday for his arrest.

Police say Nelson and his victim met through an acting class. Salt Lake police say he was arrested by noon on Wednesday and booked in the Salt Lake County Jail.

Investigators say they are worried about the potential for more victims, and encourage anyone who may have had unwanted or illegal contact with Nelson to call 801-799-3000 or their local police department.

Pat Reavy

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