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He wore a baseball cap, said he liked to skateboard and seemed like an ordinary spotty-faced year-old when he turned up for his first day of school in a small Arizona ranching town.
But the child claiming to be Casey Price was 29 and a convicted sex offender who took advantage of his slight frame to try to gain access to children in at least four schools in the state for himself and three accomplices. The discovery that Neil Havens Rodreick had managed to dupe the authorities at several schools into believing he was a school age child by shaving off his body hair and dressing as has shocked Arizona, and much of America.
It's a bizarre twist that a year-old man would pose successfully four times as a year-old and would try to gain access to children in charter schools," said Rebecca Ruffner, the director of Prevent Child Abuse Arizona, ren's advocacy group. Yesterday, authorities from several counties of Arizona as well as Oklahoma, where Rodreick was jailed as a sex offender inwere meeting to try to unravel the last few years of his life.
So far, he and the three other men face 25 charges each, ranging from fraud and forgery to child molestation.
But there could be more charges, Susan Quayle, a spokeswoman for the Yavapai county sheriff's office, said. There is no evidence to date that Rodreick harmed any of the children at the schools where he was enrolled.
However, he is under investigation in a of jurisdictions for failing to register as a sex offender, and for keeping large caches of child pornography on his computer. The authorities also have a video showing him having sex with a boy. Rodreick's deception on the Arizona schools sytem appears to have been an elaborate scam, worked in concert with three other men.
They too were Rodreick's dupes, believing that he was 12 years old after meeting on the internet where they were trawling for boys. ByStiffler was wiring Rodreick money.
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Bythe authorities say, Rodreick persuaded the men to meet him at an Oklahoma hotel, and take him to Arizona, where Stiffler posed as his grandfather and Snow an uncle. The fourth man in the ring, Brian Jay Nellis, 34, had been Rodreick's cellmate in an Oklahoma prison after he was convicted of making indecent proposals to two six-year-old boys. Nellis was also serving time for child sex offences. All but Stiffler had convictions as sex offenders. So far, their masquerade is known to stretch back at least to August when Rodreick enrolled at a charter school in Gila County, Arizona.
That school, like all the others he targeted, belongs to a system of publicly funded independent schools that may have been selected, investigators believe, because they have lesser oversight than public schools. Rodreick was enrolled in Gila County for 21 days, and attended for only a few days before he was withdrawn. Next he moved to the town of Surprise, a suburb of Phoenix.
He turned in homework, certainly didn't come off as brilliant or as someone needing extra help. Rodreick's ruse was eventually detected on January 17 when he attempted to enrol at the Mingus Springs charter school in Chino Valley, a middle school with fewer than students.
The year-old paedophile who turned himself into a year-old schoolboy
At first, Rodreick tried to explain away his missing records by saying he had been schooled at home, said Chris Igel, the school board president. But the school grew suspicious of the paperwork that Rodreick did present. When the authorities faxed the documents to the issuing authorities, they discovered they were forgeries and telephoned the police.
There is not a word in the English dictionary to describe the reaction that everyone has had on this. The year-old paedophile who turned himself into a year-old schoolboy.
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Neil Havens Rodreick duped the authorities and enrolled himself in at least four schools in Arizona. Photograph: AP. Topics World news. Reuse this content.