On February 14th, Fresno County Sheriff’s detectives arrested 74 year old Van Nechvatal of Fresno.
He was booked into the Fresno County Jail on multiple felony counts related to solicitation of a minor for sexual acts. He has since posted the necessary bond and bailed out of jail.
Two weeks ago, the mother of a 16 year old girl notified the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office that her daughter was subjected to inappropriate behavior by Van Nechvatal, a man who is familiar to her. The Central California Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) Task Force immediately launched an investigation. This joint-investigation was comprised of members from the Fresno County Sheriff’s Office, Fresno Police Department and federal agents with Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
Detectives interviewed the victim and she then began to communicate with Nechvatal via telephone. Ultimately, Nechvatal agreed to meet the 16 year old girl at an undisclosed location within the City of Fresno for the purposes of performing sexual acts with the young victim. On February 14th, Nechvatal arrived at the location in order to meet with the teenager and that is where detectives took him into custody.
The Sheriff’s Office would like to remind the public to be vigilant when it comes to potential predators taking advantage of children. Parents should monitor their children’s internet usage and be aware of the software apps and social media sites they are using. Online predators often pretend to be someone else in order to lure their victims in and take advantage of them. Teach children to be wary of the person on the other end of the chat line; many times people are not who they say they are.
The Fresno County Sheriff’s Office is the lead agency for the Central California Internet Crimes against Children (ICAC) Task Force. It is comprised of 60 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies spread throughout nine counties in the Central Valley. It is dedicated to protecting children online and investigating crimes committed against children, which are facilitated by the Internet and computer usage. To learn more, please visit the ICAC website at www.centralcaliforniaicac.org
Anyone with information on this case or any other child pornography investigation is asked to please contact the Sgt. Jeff Kertson at (559) 600-8144 or call Crime Stoppers at (559) 498-STOP (7867).