LANCASTER, Pa. — A Virginia man accused of taking a 12-year-old Pennsylvania girl he met online to a hotel told investigators he knew her age and planned to have sexual contact with her, police said.
Thirty-year-old Nelson E. Hercules Jr., of Virginia Beach, was charged with a long list of felonies, including attempted rape of a child, indecent assault and kidnapping of a minor.
The Lancaster Intelligencer-Journal reported that a Manheim Township woman called police Friday afternoon when her daughter didn’t come home from school. She told police the girl had been seen getting into a man’s car.
Police issued a description of the girl, the vehicle and the man to all police units in the area.
Within a half hour, police found the man’s car in a Harrisburg Pike hotel parking lot and discovered the man and the girl inside a room.
Police said Hercules arranged to meet the girl in person after messaging her via text messages and in chat rooms. Hercules told investigators that he knew the girl was 12 and had driven to Lancaster to engage in sexual contact with her, police said.
The girl’s mother said her family didn’t know the man and were grateful for the girl’s safe return.
“They did what they had to do to bring my baby back home,” she told the newspaper.
Hercules is being held on $250,000 bond and had no attorney listed in court papers.
Police urged parents to talk to their children about the dangers of online predators and to monitor their children’s activity, both online and in texts.
Hercules’ preliminary hearing is scheduled for Wednesday.