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Ogden man charged in rape of 4-year-old

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Mark Riley Nielson

Mark Riley Nielson

OGDEN — A Weber County man has been charged with raping a 4-year-old girl repeatedly over the past few months.

Mark Riley Nielson was arrested Tuesday after South Ogden police served a search warrant on his house and found images of child pornography, detective Todd Hardman said.

Nielson's wife ran a day-care center out of her house until April, but the girl in this case was not part of the day-care group, Hardman said. It appears Nielson, 42, did not have contact with the approximately three children who were part of his wife's day care. Investigators are trying to determine if any of those children were abused.

"We don't have any evidence telling us that that's the case," Hardman said. "However, we are investigating that. We want to make sure if there are any victims out there that we deal with that."

The 4-year-old girl was sexually abused 12 to 14 times between April and late August, Hardman said.

Nielson was arraigned Thursday on 12 counts of child rape, a first-degree felony, in Ogden's 2nd District Court. All 12 charges carry a potential life prison sentence.

The allegations came to light after the girl told a relative she had been abused. Police served a search warrant Tuesday afternoon and seized Nielson's computer, some 1,000 pornographic videos and several hundred glossy photographs, some of which included child pornography, Hardman said.

Police also found images of child pornography on the computer and will be working to examine the machine with the Utah Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

The girl is "doing extremely well," Hardman said. "For a 4-year-old she was very bright, very articulate and gave a very good description."

Nielson remained in the Weber County Jail Friday night on $240,000 bail. He will appear in court again on Sept. 16.

E-mail: djensen@desnews.com