By Ellen Fike, Cowboy State Daily
A Florida man accused of picking up a 13-year-old girl in Utah with plans of taking her to Florida recently pleaded not guilty to a charge of transporting a minor across state lines with the intent of having sex with her, according to federal court filings.
Christopher S. Evans, 25, of Fort Pierce, Florida pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court in Wyoming on May 31 to the charge of transporting a minor across state lines with intent to commit sexual contact and sexual intrusion.
His trial is set for July 7. He faces anywhere from 10 years to life in prison and a $250,000 fine for the charge.
Evans was arrested at a Cheyenne truck stop in March and the girl was found inside of his vehicle.
According to court documents, the 13-year-girl was reported missing from her Roosevelt, Utah, home by her parents on the morning of March 8. The girl’s phone was discovered in her bedroom, along with her Oculus virtual reality gaming headset.
It was reported that the girl had been in contact with Evans through the video game platform and a message that said “Waiting,” sent by him, was discovered on the headset, indicating that he was the one who picked up the girl.
The two had been communicating for more than a month.
Using his online accounts, police were able to track Evans’ location through his cell phone. Around 3 p.m. on March 10, he and the girl were found to be at a Love’s truck stop in Cheyenne inside of his semi-truck.
Evans was taken to the Laramie County Detention Center after his arrest, where he admitted to police that he was aware the girl was 13.
He also said they were boyfriend and girlfriend and that their plan was to go to Florida to live together and pursue a relationship.
The girl told police she and Evans communicated these plans to friends on the Oculus platform.
During their two nights in the truck, the two slept in the bottom bunk of Evans’ semi-truck. He admitted to touching her bare breast and over the clothes in her vaginal area.
The girl said Evans asked to have sex with her, but it was not clear from court documents whether they did.