BOISE -- A Boise sex offender is behind bars after police say he continually stalked a young girl for more than two months.
The victim, a 13-year-old student at South Junior High School, told police a man she did not know had followed her in his pickup at least two dozen times since August. On one occasion, the man made lewd sexual gestures at her near the intersection of Overland Road and Shoshone Street.
"He had been following her for quite some time," Boise Police Sgt. Craig Nixon said.
Prosecutors say the girl switched up her route and walked with a group after she noticed the man trailing her, but he wasn't deterred. Each time he followed her, the man was driving a silver Ford Ranger pickup, the girl said.
The victim's mother was able to take a photo of the pickup, and reported the stalking to police.
Investigators identified the suspect as 32-year-old Ryan Harrell of Boise, a registered sex offender. Harrell was arrested and booked into the Ada County Jail Tuesday evening.
Nixon praised the 13-year-old for her presence of mind, which helped investigators narrow down a suspect.
"That's what we try to tell all parents and we try to tell all kids: When you're walking home from school, when you're walking around the neighborhood be aware of what's going on," he said. "If something doesn't feel right, it's probably not right and you need to take notice of that. [The victim] is a prime example of what should be done, and she did it the right way."
Harrell was convicted of enticing a child over the Internet and sexual battery of a minor in 2009. He was released from prison on parole in July 2015.
Harrell is now facing charges of sexual abuse of a minor under 16 and first-degree stalking. He was arraigned on the felony charge Wednesday afternoon and a judge set bond at $500,000. He is due back in court on Nov. 15.
Investigators say they believe Harrell has other victims. Anyone with information is asked to call Crime Stoppers at 343-COPS.
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