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Man accused of sexually assaulting teen he met online in Fort Collins

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Posted at 9:05 AM, Dec 30, 2020
and last updated 2020-12-30 11:33:13-05

LARIMER COUNTY, Colo. — The Fort Collins Police Department arrested a 42-year-old man who allegedly sexually assaulted a young teenager he met online.

The police department said Nathaniel Strauss started to talk with a teenager through a social meetup app and told the teen he was 28 years old. The two arranged to meet multiple times and engaged in sexual activity, police said.

The teen's parents called police after learning about the interactions.

As police began investigating, they were able to identify the suspect as Strauss, who is a registered sex offender, and he was arrested.

Strauss faces the following charges:

  • Sexual assault
  • Obscenity to a minor
  • Unlawful sexual contact

Sgt. Heather Moore, who leads the FCPS Crimes Against Persons Unit, said predators often use social media apps to find underage children or teenagers, and to groom them into trusting them. This can include compliments, gifts and offering a place to stay, she said.

“This disturbing pattern of behavior often culminates in illegal activity that can result in lasting physical and emotional harm to victims," Moore said.

The police department said it is concerned that others may have been victimized by Strauss. Anyone with information about him or this case is encouraged to contact Det. Laura Knudsen at 970-416-2771. People who want to stay anonymous can contact Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at 970-221-6868 or www.stopcriminals.org.

To learn more about internet safety, visit the Fort Collins Police department website here.