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Long IslandCrime

Colorado man had sexual contact with Merrick teen, police say

Luke A. Tilsley, 36, of Denver, was arrested

Luke A. Tilsley, 36, of Denver, was arrested Friday, June 24, 2016, and charged with forcible touching. Nassau County police said he traveled to Merrick several times to meet a girl he knew was 16 years old. Credit: Nassau County Police Department

A Colorado man was arraigned Saturday on charges including sexual abuse after he allegedly traveled to Merrick and twice made sexual contact with a 16-year-old girl, authorities said.

Luke A. Tilsley, 36, of Denver, is charged with two counts of forcible touching, two counts of endangering the welfare of a child and two counts of third-degree sexual abuse, all misdemeanors. He did not enter a plea during his appearance in Nassau First District Court in Hempstead. He was ordered held on $7,500 bond or $5,000 cash bail, which had not been posted late Saturday.

Prosecutors said Tilsley began communicating online with the teen in October. He traveled from Colorado to Merrick twice in April — knowing the girl was 16 years old — and “touched the victim in an inappropriate manner” on April 20 and April 27, according to court records and a police news release.

The victim was seen with Tilsley again on Friday and police were notified, officials said. After an investigation, officers arrested Tilsley at the Long Island Rail Road station in Merrick, police said.

Prosecutors said Tilsley met the teen through an anonymous internet chat site, then continued to communicate with her on kik, a messaging app that is popular among teens, court records show.

“I came here to see her,” Tilsley told investigators when they asked why he was in Nassau, according to the criminal complaint.

Attempts to reach Tilsley and his family members were unsuccessful Saturday. His attorney could not immediately be reached for comment.

Tilsley’s next scheduled court date is June 28.

Detectives ask anyone who has information about this crime or any similar crime to contact Nassau County Crime Stoppers at 800-244-8477. The identities of callers will be kept confidential.

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