Local News

Man accused of sexually assaulting child he met on Facebook

Police search for Zachary Siegel

Police search for Springs man accused of child sex assault

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. - Police are searching for a man accused of sexually assaulting a child he met on Facebook.

Zachary Todd Siegel, 22, is the 4th Judicial District Attorney's Office "most wanted" suspect this week.

According to arrest records, in the spring of 2011, a 12-year-old girl's parents contacted police after they found explicit photos that Siegel sent to their daughter. The girl eventually told police that she had sex with Siegel.

The child said the relationship started when Siegel sent her a message on Facebook about Japanese art and Animae. She said she sent him a friend request and they began chatting regularly.

The girl said about a month later, Siegel started "begging" her for nude photos, and the two exchanged explicit pictures. She said he started asking to hang out, and eventually had sex with her at his apartment in the Pinnacle Condominium Complex, near Highway 115 and Westmeadow Drive.

KRDO Newschannel 13 went to the apartment, and Siegel's former roommate answered the door. He said he had no idea about the child sex assault accusations, and that he believed Siegel was in Vail.

The case highlights the importance of parents closely monitoring children's Internet and social media use.

"I think the most important thing of all is to really have open communication with your child," said Amy Fitch,  senior deputy district attorney with the special victims unit.

Fitch said parents need to talk to their kids about the reality of predators on the Internet.

"We have instances where someone says, 'I'm a 13-year-old girl,' and, in fact, it's a 50-year-old male who's a predator," Fitch said.

She said computers should be in a common areas, and parents should investigate their kids social media accounts and "friend" lists.

"You need to educate yourself so you can make sure the settings are appropriate for a child," said Fitch. "You need to ask them for their passwords and periodically check their accounts."

The district attorney's office said the arrest warrant for Siegel has been sealed until recently.

He's wanted for sexual assault on a child-pattern of abuse, 2 counts of sexual assault on a child and Internet exploitation of a child.

Siegel is five foot eleven inches tall, 184 pounds, with blonde hair and hazel eyes. Call Colorado Springs Police at 719-444-7000 with information.

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