Sex offender accused of posing as child indicted

/ Source: The Associated Press

A youthful-looking sex offender accused of conning his way into middle schools around Arizona was indicted Friday on charges including assault and child pornography.

Neil Havens Rodreick II, 29, who authorities say shaved and wore pancake makeup to help him masquerade as a seventh-grader, was charged with 15 criminal counts in all, including fraud, forgery and failing to register as a sex offender.

The Yavapai County attorney’s office wouldn’t comment about whether the child pornography charges involve children in Arizona or Oklahoma, where he was convicted of lewdly propositioning a 6-year-old boy in 1996.

Police said Rodreick had been sneaking into Arizona schools at least since 2005. During that time, he convinced teachers, students and administrators that he was a 12-year-old boy named Casey, mixing with classmates and doing his homework, authorities said.

Rodreick was caught last week when school officials at a charter school in Chino Valley, about 90 miles northwest of Phoenix, questioned the authenticity of his birth certificate and other enrollment documents.

Rodreick was arrested with his friend, Brian J. Nellis, 34, and two older men who told police they took Rodreick to Arizona from Oklahoma, thinking he was 12. During a search of a home where Rodreick had been living, authorities said they found a video of him engaging in sex acts with an unidentified child.

Nellis, Lonnie Eugene Stiffler, 61, and Robert James Snow, 43, were also indicted Friday on various charges, including child pornography and forgery. Nellis and Snow, both convicted sex offenders, were also charged with failing to register with authorities.

The four men have been assigned public defenders. The public defender’s office has not commented and did not return an after-hours phone call Friday. The men have declined requests by The Associated Press for interviews.

The four men are scheduled back in court Feb. 26. If convicted on all charges, each faces more than 100 years in prison.