U.S. prosecutors have added a child exploitation charge to conspiracy and firearms counts against a Las Vegas man accused with two others of plotting terrorism attacks during Las Vegas protests about race and police policies.
Stephen Thomas Parshall, 36, is in federal custody, and earlier this month had child sexual assault and lewdness added to Nevada state terrorism and explosives charges against him and two alleged co-conspirators.
Parshall’s attorney, Robert Draskovich, said Thursday his client denies all the charges and “adamantly denies he abused a minor in any way.”
A federal criminal complaint filed Wednesday said search warrants turned up images of child pornography on Parshall’s cellphone, and a young girl seen in the images told authorities Parshall began sexually abusing her when she was 10.
Parshall has not been arraigned on the new charge.
Authorities say he was arrested May 30 with Andrew Lynam Jr. and William Loomis while they filled glass bottles with gasoline in a plan to firebomb a protest over the police killing of George Floyd in Minneapolis.
The FBI, police and prosecutors allege Parshall, Lynam and Loomis belonged to an extremist right-wing group dubbed “boogaloo” that supports overthrowing the U.S. government.
All three men have pleaded not guilty to the initial charges in federal court.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported police began investigating child sex allegations against Parshall following the separate arrest on June 24 of one of Parshall’s longtime friends on child sex charges.
The friend, Phillip Merrill, 35, pleaded guilty July 16 to sexual assault with a minor and lewdness with a child. He could face 30 years to life in state prison at sentencing Oct. 12.