WALLA WALLA -- The suspect in a sex abuse case reported this week now is formally accused in Walla Walla County Superior Court of 15 felonies.
The charges against Carl G. Bell Jr., 31, of 519 Coppei Ave., Waitsburg were filed Thursday afternoon. They include three counts of first-degree rape of a child, two counts of sexual exploitation of a minor and 10 counts of first-degree possession of depictions of a minor engaged in sexually explicit conduct.
If convicted as charged, he would face a minimum sentence of 20 years in prison.
Bell was booked into the County Jail on Wednesday. Bail has been set at $100,000.
He is accused of having sexual intercourse with a preteen girl twice in June and once in August. He took a digital picture of one of the rapes that occurred in June, according to officials.
Walla Walla police said that also this summer, Bell started taking posed, nude pictures of the girl on multiple occasions in Walla Walla, ostensibly to help her submit them to a modeling agency.
The agency, however, allegedly existed only through an e-mail account Bell created to receive the pictures from the girl.
In addition, Bell persuaded the girl to take seven pictures of a different girl in naked poses at a park in Waitsburg in late August, according to police.
He's also suspected of trying to solicit a third girl to send nude pictures to the e-mail address.
Officials reportedly obtained the digital images of the girls by serving a search warrant Tuesday afternoon. Bell's cell phone, laptop computer and other electronic storage devices were seized for further investigation.
Terry McConn can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 526-8319.