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13-year-old girl kidnapped, sexually assaulted by man she met on Internet, police say

March 8, 2010 |  2:13 pm

A 13-year-old Los Angeles girl was kidnapped and sexually assaulted by a man she met through MySpace, police said Monday.

Samuel Francisco, 35, was arrested Friday night on suspicion of kidnapping the girl from her middle school the day before, said Lt. Andrea Grossman of the Los Angeles Police Department. Investigators said they also plan to file charges of sexual assault.

The girl vanished around 1:45 p.m. Thursday, according to her mother, who had gone to pick her up from school. The girl had texted her mother that she would be out of school shortly but never appeared. The woman searched for her daughter for hours before turning to police in San Pedro for help, authorities said.

Investigators said they believe Francisco, who had been corresponding with the girl on the MySpace social networking site, showed up at the school and persuaded her to leave with him. With the aid of Secret Service, immigration and customs enforcement agents, police found Francisco and the girl at his apartment in the 500 block of E. 36th Street.

The girl seemed distraught, police said. Francisco had attempted to hide himself under a bundle of clothes in the apartment, said Det. Monica Quijano.

Investigators are looking into whether Francisco may have kidnapped other children in the past.

“Our biggest concern is that there’s other potential victims out there because he was very comfortable doing it," Quijano said. "He actively sought her out, and had no qualms engaging her and enticing her to meet him.”

Francisco was being held on $500,000 bail and was scheduled to be arraigned Tuesday in Long Beach, Quijano said. Anyone with information is asked to call the LAPD’s Internet Crimes Against Children unit at (562) 624-4028.

-- Amina Khan

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