Las Vegas terrorism suspect sentenced for sexually abusing girl
LAS VEGAS (AP) — A Las Vegas man with ties to a far-right extremist group advocating the overthrow of the U.S. government has been sentenced to federal prison for sexually abusing a young girl.
Stephen Thomas Parshall, 38, was ordered to serve 33 years in a federal prison Monday, court records show. U.S. District Judge Jennifer Dorsey in Las Vegas also sentenced Parshall to lifetime supervision upon his release.
The yearslong sexual abuse, which prosecutors say began when the victim was younger than 10, was uncovered in 2020 while police and federal agents were investigating Parshall and two other men in connection with an alleged terrorism plot targeting protests in Las Vegas against racism and police violence.
Parshall pleaded guilty in October 2022 — one day before a federal jury trial in the abuse case was set to begin — to two counts of sexually exploiting a child, one count of coercion and enticement and one count of receiving and distributing child pornography.
“He has had a change of heart, and he wishes to plead guilty this afternoon to the charges,” Parshall’s attorney, Robert Draskovich, said at the hearing, according to court transcripts. Parshall was not offered a plea deal.
Authorities say Parshall was first arrested by Las Vegas police in May 2020 with Andrew Lynam Jr. and William Loomis while the men filled glass bottles with gasoline in a plan to firebomb a protest over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The FBI, police and prosecutors say the trio with military experience belonged to the loose anti-government “boogaloo” movement that supports overthrowing the U.S. government. Parshall and Loomis were formerly enlisted in the Navy and the Air Force, respectively, while Lynam was an Army reservist at the time of their arrests.
According to a federal criminal complaint, investigators confiscated Parshall’s cellphones as part of their investigation and found images of him sexually abusing a young girl on one of the devices.
On another cellphone, investigators found sexually explicit images that a teenage girl had sent to Parshall at his request.
Prosecutors also accused Parshall of using various social media websites and apps to “trade” child pornography. The criminal complaint states that Parshall’s usernames for his accounts included “nopictoobad” and “pervysage.”
Parshall and Lynam are currently scheduled to stand trial November in the federal terrorism case. Both have pleaded not guilty.
Loomis, now 42, was sentenced in January to four to 20 years in a Nevada prison after reaching a deal with prosecutors and pleading guilty last October to providing material support for the commission of an act of terrorism, a felony.
Copyright 2023 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.