WEED — A man sexually abused an autistic minor during a five-state trek that ended when he was arrested March 19 in Weed, according to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Donald J. Peel, 63, of Las Vegas, sexually exploited the 16-year-old girl with Asperger’s Syndrome who has the mental abilities of a 12-year-old, wrote Denise Farmer, a special agent with the FBI.
In her complaint, filed in federal court Wednesday, Farmer wrote that Peel and the girl had come to Weed after a monthlong trip from Las Vegas to Arizona, California, Oregon and Washington.
The pair had turned back south and arrived in Weed on March 18, Farmer said. They stayed at the Summit Inn Motel after the California Highway Patrol impounded Peel’s Gold Chevrolet Suburban.
Farmer did not say why the SUV was impounded. A call to the FBI’s Public Affairs Office was not returned Saturday.
On March 19, CHP officers spoke with Peel, Farmer said. She said Peel told the officers he was a friend of the girl’s father, Farmer said. But the girl told officers Peel was her uncle and they were “friends with benefits.”
She told them she’d had nonconsensual sex with Peel at the Summit Inn the previous night in Weed and told officers she was an adult, Farmer said. She later admitted to officers she is a minor, Farmer wrote. She also told them later they’d had consensual, unprotected sex.
Officers found methamphetamine on the girl, Farmer said.
“Both (the girl) and Peel attempted to blame the other for the methamphetamine,” Farmer wrote.
CHP officers took the pair to the Weed Police Department, Farmer wrote. Police contacted the girl’s parents, who told officers she was a habitual runaway who had been missing for a month.
The parents had not filed a juvenile runaway report, Farmer said. They told officers they’d spoken recently with their daughter, who told them she was heading home.
The parents also told police that the girl has Asperger’s Syndrome and only an eighth-grade education because she dropped out of school.
They did not know Peel, Farmer said.
Farmer said the girl and Peel began having sex in Las Vegas before the pair left. The pair continued having sex in each state they traveled to. Most of the sex took place in the SUV, Farmer wrote.
She wrote that a search of Peel’s vehicle yielded a sex toy, “male enhancement” pills and receipts from Arizona, Missouri, Corning, Washington and Oregon.
Farmer initially charged Peel with transportation with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity. The Siskiyou County Jail’s website also lists Peel as facing charges of oral sex with a minor, sexual intercourse with a minor, penetration with a foreign object and possession of methamphetamine.
An arraignment date has not been set.