SANDY, Utah (ABC4) – Police have arrested and charged a man for allegedly forcing underage girls to perform sexual acts for vapes on Thursday.
The Taylorsville Police Department says the suspect is Braiden Riley, 19 from Sandy. Riley is also being investigated for allegedly trying to lure two kids into his car earlier this month.
Riley has been charged by the Utah Attorney General’s Office on two counts of human trafficking of a child, two counts of sodomy of a child, two counts of sexual abuse of a child and one count of enticing a minor.
Authorities say Riley forced two underage teen girls — a 12-year-old and a 13-year-old to perform sexual acts in exchange for vaping items.
The victims told authorities they initially met Riley through social media where he claimed to be a 15-year-old boy. The 13-year-old victim says she met Riley on two separate occasions. During the first incident, Riley picked up the girl in his car and drove to a church parking lot.
The victim says she initially met Riley to secure a nicotine vape and there was no discussion of any potential sexual acts beforehand.
The girl says Riley forced her to engage in sexual activity in exchange for the vape despite her protestations. She says she complied with Riley’s request and he “grabbed her neck and choked her a couple of times” during the incident. The girl says Riley continued to inappropriately touch her so she eventually escaped from the vehicle.
After the incident, the victim says her friend, a 12-year-old girl, repeatedly asked for Riley’s social media contacts because she was also interested in securing a vape.
The victim said she did not want to provide Riley’s information to her friend, but the 12-year-old managed to track him down and insisted on meeting him. The victim accompanied the 12-year-old during the second meeting because she did not want the girl “to get hurt.”
When Riley picked up the two girls, he allegedly forced the victim to engage in sexual acts in exchange for vape materials again. Police say the 12-year-old girl was in the backseat during the sexual abuse.
While walking home, the 12-year-old told police the victim “was crying because she did not want to do it [the sexual act] but she is addicted to the vape.”
The victim’s mother reported the incident to police and provided Instagram messages showing messages containing “several sexually explicit photos and messages.”
While investigating, police say they discovered thousands of messages Riley sent to social media users he did not know, containing sexually explicit photos or asking them to “smoke weed.”
Detectives say Riley’s messages targeted users who said they were anywhere from 11 to 15 years old while he mentioned his age was anywhere from 14 to 19 years old.
Police say Riley is also believed to be involved in the attempted kidnapping of two young children in Sandy on June 6 and June 9.
Riley has been arrested and is currently booked at the Salt Lake County Jail.