Swedish teen arrested in connection with missing juvenile delays - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Swedish teen arrested in connection with missing juvenile delays prelim

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MERCER COUNTY, WV (WVVA) -

This afternoon the Swedish teen accused of seducing a juvenile over the internet chose to delay his preliminary hearing.

Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Anthony Heltzel said the state will now wait to see if the FBI wants to take over the case of 19 year-old Simon Apell of Vanersborg, Sweden.

Heltzel says although Apell is from outside of the country, he will be prosecuted like an American citizen.

"It's treated exactly the same, we go through the same process, we give him the same rights," Heltzel said. "If he does do prison time, it's likely that he will do his prison time here in the United States."

Heltzel also said Apell does not face kidnapping charges because investigators concluded that the juvenile left her home willingly. 

According to the criminal complaint, Apell admitted that he met the juvenile online and began a relationship. After flying into Charlotte North Carolina, Apell rented a car and traveled to Bluefield, West Virginia to meet with the juvenile.

After investigating several leads and speaking with the FBI,  officers located Apell and the juvenile at the Quality Hotel in Bluefield, West Virginia.

Officers say both the suspect and the child were detained on scene and later taken to the Mercer County Sheriffs Department. 

Police say Apell met the juvenile online and began chatting on social media. Apell tells officers that he first believed the child was 18 but later learned that she was only 12. He also told officers that his sole purpose of coming to America was to meet with the 12-year-old girl .

Apell is charged with three felonies; including use of obscene matter with intent to seduce a minor, soliciting a minor via computer, and sexual assault in the third degree.

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