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California man trafficked, raped girl in Las Vegas, police say

A California man drove a girl from San Francisco to Las Vegas where he forced her into prostitution and raped her, police said.

Sheldon Eichelberger, 31, was arrested Sunday and later charged with sexual assault, child abuse, sex trafficking a minor under 18 and kidnapping a minor.

The girl’s mother told Las Vegas police that her missing daughter messaged family members on social media to say she had been taken against her will to Las Vegas and was at a Walmart in the central valley, according to a Metropolitan Police Department arrest report.

She was found and told police that after running away from home she met Eichelberger’s girlfriend, who took to her a home in San Francisco.

The next day she fell asleep in Eichelberger’s car as they were driving and woke up to see they were on a highway. Eichelberger told the girl they were going to Las Vegas for her to work as a prostitute, and when she said she didn’t want to, Eichelberger punched her several times in the face and pulled out gun, according to the report.

They arrived July 12 in Las Vegas, and the girl was forced to work as a prostitute and was expected to make $2,500 a day. Eichelberger would beat her when she told him no, the report said.

On July 13, Eichelberger punched and pistol-whipped the girl after she refused to have sex with him, threatened to shoot her and then raped the girl, according to the report.

Police said the girl had a swollen lip with abrasions, bruising around her left eye and a cut on her neck.

After finding the girl, police interviewed a friend of Eichelberger at his apartment. The friend saw Eichelberger walking in the complex and pointed him out to police, who took him into custody.

“I wasn’t the one that lured that little girl in California. It was the other guy,” Eichelberger told police.

In a separate case, Eichelberger faces charges of sex trafficking of an adult, battery with a deadly weapon and two counts of domestic battery by strangulation. As of late Wednesday, he remained in custody on $100,000 bail.

Eichelberger is due in court Thursday morning.

Contact David Wilson at dwilson@reviewjournal.com. Follow @davidwilson_RJ on Twitter.