Wanted suspect in Thornton child sex assault arrested in Washington State

Steve Allen Pierce to be extradited to Colorado

THORNTON, Colo. - A man wanted on suspicion of sexually assaulting a nine-year-old girl in Thornton has been captured in Washington State.

Thornton Police suspect 35-year-old Steve Allen Pierce sexually assaulted a nine-year-old in a parking lot near 91st Avenue and Huron Street on May 26.

Police were not alerted until three days later after the girl was taken to North Suburban Medical Center. Police said she was taken to the medical center and then transferred to Children's Hospital because of injuries suffered during the sexual assault.

Earlier this week, 7NEWS checked Pierce's criminal history, which includes 2004 and 2005 charges for failure to register as a sex offender. Yet, his Colorado criminal history did not indicate a sex offense on his record.

We discovered he was convicted of first-degree molestation in Washington State in the nineties, when he was either 12 or 15 years old, according to court records.

Since, he was convicted when he was a juvenile, he is not required to appear on the state's online sex offender registry. The other exemption is if the crime was misdemeanor sexual assault. Pierce was convicted of a felony as a juvenile.

The Everett, Washington Police Department arrested Pierce Wednesday morning. Thornton Police detectives are on their way to Washington.

Pierce is being held in the Snohomish County Jail, Everett, Washington awaiting extradition to Colorado.

The case is still an active and open investigation, according to Matt Barnes, Thornton police spokesman.