OREM, Utah (ABC4 News) – A 19-year-old is being accused of raping a 13-year-old victim, even sneaking inside of the victim’s junior high school.
It was the beginning of the school year at Orem Jr. High, and police say 19-year-old Joshua Vanslooten had started an online relationship with a 13-year-old girl.
On August 23, Vanslooten arrived at the school’s front office — and lied about who he was, according to officials.
“He said I’m a 17 year old cousin of so and so. Not the case. He’s really 19,” said Kimberly Bird with Alpine School District.
School officials told him to leave.
“They immediately saw that this individual was not identified as somebody who was approved to check out the individual and said no, we will not excuse this individual to your care. And so that person left the school building at that time,” said Bird.
But Vanslooten was texting the victim, according to court documents. And he was able to get into a detached school building — newer construction, which students walk in and out of to go to the gymnasium and classrooms — and which sometimes has open doors. That’s when he met up with the victim at her school.
“Red flags went up, and they immediately called the parents and got them involved,” said Bird.
Vanslooten is now charged with multiple felonies.
“It makes you nervous — I mean, I have young kids and it makes you nervous about what the world’s coming to. It’s scary,” said Robyn Shelton, a mother.
None of the sex crimes, police say, happened on school grounds. Vanslooten originally met the 13-year-old victim on Facebook, according to police.