Texas Man Indicted for Allegedly Kidnapping and Sexually Assaulting 13-Year-Old Girl on Road Trip to California
A federal grand jury has brought charges against 61-year-old Steven Robert Sablan from Texas after a disturbing incident involving the alleged kidnapping and repeated sexual assault of a 13-year-old girl during a road trip to California, as announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Central District of California.
According to federal prosecutors, on July 6, Sablan reportedly abducted the teen in San Antonio by pulling up alongside her as she walked down the street and pointing a gun at her.
He threatened her safety, compelling her to get into the car with him. Sablan then engaged the girl in conversation, learning her age and reportedly told her that he could take her to visit her friend in Australia, but insisted she had to do something for him before that could happen.
Tragically, during the course of the trip to California, Sablan allegedly subjected the young victim to repeated sexual assaults.
While in Long Beach on July 9, Sablan briefly left the car to take their clothes to a laundromat. Seizing the opportunity, the courageous victim wrote ‘Help me!’ on a piece of paper and displayed it to a passerby.
This act of bravery led to authorities being alerted, and the police arrived promptly on the scene. They found Sablan outside the vehicle and the girl inside, who silently mouthed the word “help” to the officers.
Sablan was arrested, and a search of the vehicle uncovered a black BB gun, a note pleading for help, and a pair of handcuffs.
Further investigation revealed that the girl had been reported as a runaway in San Antonio. The Department of Children and Family Services took custody of her after the incident.
Steven Robert Sablan is now facing serious charges, including one count of kidnapping and one count of transportation of a minor with intent to engage in criminal sexual activity.
If convicted on both counts, he could face life imprisonment. His arraignment is scheduled for July 31. This distressing case serves as a stark reminder of the importance of protecting young individuals and seeking justice for victims of such heinous crimes.