An 18-year-old Las Vegas man was arrested on suspicion of attempted kidnapping Monday in Kentucky after traveling to the state to meet with an underage girl he had met online and “wanted to marry,” according to the Boone County Sheriff’s Office.
The suspect, identified by the Sheriff’s Office as Benjamin J. Margitza, has been charged with attempted kidnapping of a minor and third-degree criminal trespassing. He was being held without bail at the Boone County Detention Center, records show.
“Unbeknownst to the victim,” Margitza was waiting for the girl about 11 a.m. Monday outside her high school in Hebron, Kentucky, about 100 miles northwest of Louisville, according to the sheriff’s office. He later told detectives that he had planned to take the girl to his hotel room to have sex, it said.
Margitza met the victim, whose age was not clear, online about four years ago, although officials said “a minimal amount of communication had taken place.” But within the past year, according to the sheriff’s office, Margitza began “obsessing” over the girl, making “explicit, sexual statements” and “stating how he wanted to marry her.”
After Margitza surprised the girl in the campus parking lot and grabbed her arm, she screamed and ran back toward the school as Margitza followed her, the sheriff’s office said. But another student intervened and reported the incident to school police.
Margitza was taken into custody as he was leaving the campus, telling detectives that “he would have followed the victim into the school if the male student hadn’t stopped him,” according to the sheriff’s office.
Court records indicate that Margitza does not have a criminal history in Clark County.