NEWTON, Iowa – A man accused of inappropriately touching two teenage girls while posing as an actor from the "Twilight" movie series was allowed to meet with students at an Iowa middle school and was confronted but not arrested after the first alleged incident, one of his accusers says.
The girl and her mother told The Des Moines Register (http://dmreg.co/TRU8KC ) that David LaVera, of San Diego, enticed the girl to a Newton park on June 3 and touched her inappropriately.
LaVera was arrested Tuesday after police say he inappropriately touched a different girl and drove off with her in Baxter. The girl was found unharmed. LaVera is charged with enticing a minor and with carrying weapons. Court records don't list the name of an attorney.
The mother of the first girl who was allegedly touched said LaVera wasn't arrested after she reported the incident. She said an officer from Newton found LaVera at a bar later that evening and told him that if he attempted to entice a girl again, police would arrest him.
"They didn't do anything about it," the girl said. "If they had, I don't think this would have happened to this other girl."
The Associated Press does not typically name victims of sex crimes.
Newton police Lt. Bill Henninger said the initial report didn't mention any inappropriate touching had occurred. Henninger said police were told at first that LaVera was making friends with girls at the park, which seemed odd but wasn't illegal.
The girl's mother said LaVera told her daughter that he was an actor in "Twilight" and talked her and a friend into going to a park with him. While there, she said, LaVera inappropriately touched her daughter.
The girl said she met LaVera on May 28 during lunch at Berg Middle School, where he was signing autographs and taking photos with students. He performed at an assembly at the school May 30, where the girl said he was presented as David LaVera. On June 2, he attended a school-sponsored pool party.
The girl's mother said she questions how LaVera was allowed in the school, and then allowed to perform in an assembly and attend the party. "It's scary the schools would let him in without checking him," the mother said.
Newton schools Superintendent Bob Callaghan said LaVera was presented to school officials as David LaVera, a stuntman from California. A family brought him to school, where he spoke in a child's classroom with both parents present, he said. LaVera also went with parents to have lunch with their elementary-aged child at Aurora Heights Intermediate School, Callaghan said. In both cases, he said, the schools followed the protocol of having visitors sign in and be accompanied in the school. LaVera was invited back to perform stunts at Berg Middle School.
The Newton school board will meet June 23, and will likely discuss procedures for allowing visitors in schools.
Information from: The Des Moines Register, http://www.desmoinesregister.com