The mother of a 3-year-old girl raped in an explicit homemade videotape is so angry that she would kill her daughter's assailant if she could, her lawyer said Tuesday after a nationwide manhunt ended with the arrest of Chester Arthur Stiles.
"On one level, she said she's relieved that he's off the street," attorney Jerry Donohue told The Associated Press after speaking with the woman, who refused interviews.
"On another level, she's a little disappointed that he didn't keep his promise not to be taken alive," Donohue said.
"She said if he got the death penalty, she's the one who would be willing to pull the trigger," the lawyer said. "It caught me off guard when she said it."
The Las Vegas woman is pregnant and due to give birth at any time, he said.
Donohue said the girl, now a 7-year-old second-grader, "clearly has no memory of any molestation, which is good." But he said she has been interviewed by medical professionals and police, and "she knows something's going on around her."
The girl was found safe Sept. 28 with her mother in Las Vegas after sheriff's detectives in neighboring Nye County viewed the videotaped assault and circulated her photo and asked for help finding her.
Police said Tuesday they were still trying to determine where Stiles, 37, hid since his photo was distributed around the world, drawing tips from Tokyo to Washington, D.C., and the Pacific Northwest to Mexico.
Stiles was about to have been named one of the FBI's most-wanted fugitives before he was apprehended, said Special Agent David Staretz, spokesman for the FBI office in Las Vegas.
The pressure of the search appeared to unnerve Stiles, who vomited several times and asked for a lawyer after his arrest Monday in suburban Henderson, Las Vegas police Sgt. Dave Stansbury,
Stiles was driving a white Buick Century with no license plates when he was arrested by a Henderson patrol officer.
The officer, Mike Dye, said Stiles provided an expired California drivers
license with a photo that did not look like him, and claimed to have forgotten his Social Security number before giving up.
"He said, 'I'm Chester Stiles, the guy you're looking for,"' Dye said. "He said, 'I'm tired of running."'
No weapons were found in the car, and Stansbury said it did not appear that Stiles had enough bedding, food, water and other supplies to live in the vehicle.
"I honestly don't feel he was living out of his car the whole time," Stansbury said. "He obviously had friends who either didn't know he was the most wanted person in Las Vegas or they didn't care."
Stiles was jailed pending a possible Wednesday appearance in Las Vegas Justice Court. He was wanted on a warrant issued in 2004
charging him with felony lewdness with a minor, and on Oct. 5 charges accusing him of 21 felonies stemming from acts on the videotape.
He had not yet been appointed a lawyer.
Police Capt. Vincent Cannito said the charges include lewdness with a minor, sexual assault, and attempted sexual assault.
The lewdness and assault charges carry a possible sentence of up to
life in prison.
One former girlfriend said she feared for more than two weeks that Stiles would show up at her house - where she said his broken-down pickup truck remained parked until recently.
"I was afraid of Chet," said Elaine Thomas, 40, a Las Vegas woman.
She said she was convinced he would resist arrest.
"This is a man that used my toothbrush, you know?"
It was Thomas who first warned authorities that Stiles was a "survivalist type" who always carried a knife and had an elite Navy SEAL forces background.
Stansbury said Stiles' military background remained unclear.
"I was worried that he would think that he could come and try to convince me to help him," said Thomas, who said they dated in 2003 - the same year the tape was made.
"I just didn't want him to show up at my door, because I would have to call police and I would not want that kind of a scene."
The brutally explicit videotape showing a little girl being sexually assaulted surfaced last month in Pahrump, a Nye County town of 60 miles from Las Vegas.
The man who turned in the videotape, Darrin Tuck, 26, remains in custody on a probation violation charge.
He is due to appear Monday on a felony pornography possession charge, his lawyer said.
Tuck told investigators he found the tape beneath a fallen sign in the desert.
Authorities alleged that Tuck kept the video for several months and showed it to others before turning it over to detectives.
"We're hoping that Stiles cooperates with police and this will illuminate what we've been saying from the beginning," said Tuck's lawyer, Chris Rasmussen.
"Mr. Tuck had no involvement with Mr. Stiles."
Stiles' 2004 warrant stemmed from allegations he groped a 6-year-old girl in 2003.
He had previous arrests on charges including assault, battery, resisting a police officer, auto theft, leaving the scene of an accident and contempt of court, authorities said.
He was convicted in 1999 in Las Vegas of carrying a concealed weapon, and in 2001 of conspiracy to commit grand larceny.
Police also were looking into an allegation that he sexually assaulted a
young girl in 2001.