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Man Accused of Taking Girl Out of State Pleads Guilty

Man Accused of Taking Girl Out of State Pleads Guilty

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SALT LAKE CITY (AP) -- A 38-year-old Salt Lake County man accused of having sex with a 15-year-old neighbor girl, who willingly accompanied him on trips to Nevada and Colorado, has pleaded guilty to kidnapping and unlawful sex.

Christopher Todd Speaks pleaded guilty Tuesday to second-degree felony kidnapping and third-degree felony unlawful sex with a minor and will be sentenced Nov. 7 by 3rd District Judge Michael Burton.

The girl disappeared from Valley High School on July 18. She and Speaks were found 10 days later hiking in the mountains west of Denver. The girl and Speaks also had run off together in April for a 10-day trip to Reno.

Speaks and the girl began their relationship in December 2002 after the girl's family moved next door to Speaks, according to the girl's grandmother.

In May, the girl's family moved from unincorporated Salt Lake County to Sandy to get away from Speaks, who had reported the grandmother and the girl's aunt to the Department of Child Protective Services.

The girl remains in protective custody in Colorado.

(Copyright 2003 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.)

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