KSDK -- A 19-year-old Florissant resident is accused of trying to kidnap and sexually attack a nine-year-old girl following church services in Maryland Heights last week.
According to Detective Captain Scott Will, a spokesman for the Maryland Heights Police Department, the incident occurred on Sunday, June 28, at the Grace Church on Creve Coeur Mill Road.
The suspect, identified as James E. Steen, had just finished attending mass and walked into the Sunday school room where he grabbed a young girl and attempted to leave with her, Will said.
Steen told a church employee that he was supposed to take the girl to her mother, but the employee became suspicious when Steen could not name either the little girl or her mother. The little girl was asked if she knew the suspect and she said no.
Police were called to the scene and Steen admitted his plans and was then arrested, Will said. When asked why he grabbed that particular girl, Steen told police she was the most "attractive" girl in the room and also the closest to the door.
Steen was charged with attempted child abduction and remains in custody under a $200,000 bond.