EUGENE, Ore. (AP) — A man from Wales accused of traveling to Oregon to rape a 10-year-old girl he met through an online chat program has previously traveled to other states in the United States, and there might be other victims, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.
The FBI said in a statement that it's working with local law enforcement agencies in Oregon and across the country to identify other possible victims of Gareth Vincent Hall after his arrest earlier this week.
Hall, 22, is jailed in Eugene on three counts of first-degree rape, two counts of first-degree sodomy and one count of first-degree kidnapping after allegedly traveling to the city last month and taking the girl to a hotel. Hall's public defender has not returned a phone message from The Associated Press seeking comment.
Hall and the girl spoke for two months before meeting in early April, Eugene police said. Hall allegedly picked the girl up in a rental car. The girl sneaked out of the house to go with Hall, who was in Eugene for about four days before returning to the United Kingdom, police said.
The Lane County District Attorney's office issued an arrest warrant for Hall on April 30. Less than a week later, Hall was arrested at an airport in Chicago. Authorities said he was on his way to meet someone else, but they haven't said if the person was a girl.
Hall, of Caernarfon, Wales, worked as a lifeguard before his arrest. However, the county council of the Hall's home region said in a statement that Hall had been on suspension from his job since October because of a criminal investigation by North Wales Police. The statement was provided to The Eugene Register-Guard (http://is.gd/kMO335) by the BBC.
The Gwynedd county council is a government authority in Wales and operates the center where Hall worked at the pool. The council declined to discuss the investigation.
"Whilst it would not be appropriate for us to comment on the details of the ongoing North Wales Police investigation at this stage, we can confirm that all relevant child protection procedures have been followed by the Council in the management of this case," the statement said. "Whilst we are aware of separate allegations relating to this individual that have recently appeared on U.S. online news websites, it would not be appropriate for us to comment on their contents at this stage."
Information from: The Register-Guard, http://www.registerguard.com