10-year-old girl screams, fights to escape sex offender in Utah

Published: Sep. 1, 2021 at 3:16 AM CDT
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ROY, Utah (KSTU) - A 10-year-old Utah girl is home safe after escaping an attack by a sex offender, who police say intended to rape her.

Police say 44-year-old Richard Palmer, a registered sex offender, is behind bars after attempting to kidnap and rape a 10-year-old girl Friday evening in Roy, Utah.

The 10-year-old victim went to the gas station to buy a snack, according to police. She saw Palmer and immediately noticed red flags. According to court files, she told police he “made her not feel good.”

Richard Palmer, a 44-year-old registered sex offender, is being held without bail after police...
Richard Palmer, a 44-year-old registered sex offender, is being held without bail after police say he attempted to kidnap and rape a 10-year-old girl.(Source: Utah Department of Corrections, KSTU via CNN)

When the girl left on her bike, Palmer allegedly followed, grabbed her by the neck and tried to forcibly remove her from the bike. The fifth grader screamed and fought, scaring the suspect to the point where he stopped attacking her.

She then rode her bike as fast as she could and arrived home within 15 seconds. She told her mother about the incident, and her mother called police.

Police say the victim did everything right in this case. She was not injured, but her family is, understandably, very upset.

Based on the 10-year-old’s description and surveillance video from the gas station, police identified Palmer as the suspect in the case. They say he confessed to the attempted kidnapping and told them his goal was to take the victim behind a vacant house and rape her.

Police say it was easier to locate Palmer because he was on the sex offender registry. He has been on the registry since 2007 after he was convicted for unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

Palmer is being held without bail.

Copyright 2021 KSTU via CNN Newsource. All rights reserved.