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Man arrested on child sex charges told police he had COVID-19

Updated May 6, 2020 - 7:41 am

A man suspected of soliciting a child for sex told Las Vegas police during his arrest Sunday that he’d done it before and that he had COVID-19.

Mario Alston, 54, was booked into the Clark County Detention Center and faces charges of soliciting a child for prostitution, luring a child for sex, child abuse and lewdness, jail records show.

According to his arrest report, Alston told officers he had solicited a juvenile for sex “4 years ago” from an online ad and said he was recently diagnosed with COVID-19.

“When informed that coming to meet a juvenile after knowing he had COVID-19 could be dangerous to a child, he just said ‘okay,’ ” the report said.

A detective exchanged text messages with Alston while posing as a 15-year-old girl waiting for her mother to leave home before meeting Alston to have sex with him, the report said.

A message log attached to the arrest report shows Alston as “buyer” chatting with “decoy.” The two go into detail about what they planned to do when they met. Alston wrote he would pay the “girl” $200 for sex, the report said. The messages show Alston acknowledging the person he was texting was 15.

Police wrote in the report that Alston was also wanted for child neglect by the Henderson Police Department. Detectives also referenced a 2017 arrest by Henderson police on child sex assault and lewdness charges.

Alston has a court hearing scheduled for Wednesday afternoon.

Contact Dalton LaFerney at dlaferney@reviewjournal.com or at 702-383-0288. Follow @daltonlaferney on Twitter.

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