PHOENIX — A convicted child molester accused of briefly kidnapping a young
Mesa girl last year has pleaded guilty in the case.
Maricopa County prosecutors said Jeffrey Mark VanWagoner, 49, pleaded
guilty Thursday to attempted kidnapping and attempted sexual conduct with a
minor. A sentencing date hasn’t been set yet.
VanWagoner was arrested in January 2011 after allegedly grabbing a 9-year-old
girl, dragging her into his vehicle and driving away.
The girl’s 11-year-old friend witnessed the abduction and gave Mesa police a
description of the kidnapper and the car.
The abducted girl was later released unharmed. Police later
located and arrested VanWagoner.
Police said VanWagoner is a Level 2 sex offender from a prior conviction for
child molestation and sexual conduct with a minor.