A 34-year-old registered sex offender is facing charges that he befriended a 13-year-old girl on social media and then arranged for her to make the 200-mile journey to his home in Nebraska using the a ride-share app.
Nicholas Avery was transported and booked at the Sarpy County Jail for first-degree sexual assault of a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The Shawnee County Sheriff’s Office said it is investigating whether or not the driver, who works for Lyft, should face charges, according to ABC Omaha affiliate KETV.
A Lyft spokesperson said in a statement to ABC News that it would cooperate with the investigation.
“Safety is fundamental to Lyft and as soon as we learned about what happened we disabled the passenger account used to request the ride,” the statement said. “Unaccompanied minors are not permitted on the platform and we have reached out to the driver to reiterate this policy.”
The ordeal began late on the night of Tuesday, June 4, when Avery arranged for a Lyft driver to pick up the girl and transport her to his home so that he could molest her, prosecutors said.
The girl was reported missing the following day. When police identified the address the victim was believed to be at, they learned that Avery was a registered sex offender.
“Through further investigation, we believe she was sexually assaulted multiple times,” Lt. Andy Jashinske of the Bellevue, Nebraska, police department, told ABC News.
Avery was put into handcuffs without incident, and the victim was rescued safely.