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Convict, 75, accused of raping child

Wed., May 13, 2009, 11:50 a.m.

A 75-year-old sex offender living in north Spokane was arrested by county sheriff’s detectives on Tuesday in connection with the rape and sexual exploitation of an 8-year-old child.

Robert A. Nist was booked into Spokane County Jail on charges of rape of a child and first-degree sexual exploitation of a minor, Sgt. Dave Reagan said in a press release. Nist was living in the 200 block of East Nordin Avenue.

Detectives arrested him after serving a search warrant Tuesday at the Nordin residence near Northpointe Shopping Center.

Reno, Nev., detectives reported the suspected abuse occurred in Reno and Spokane, when the girl would visit, Reagan said.

The girl told Reno detectives that Nist videotaped her without clothing and physically assaulted her as early as age 7.

During Tuesday’s search, Detective Kevin Bechtold seized several videotapes from Nist’s home but had not reviewed them yet, Reagan said. Other unspecified items were taken as evidence, too.

Nist is a Level 1 sex offender who has a 1952 conviction of first-degree assault stemming from an attempted rape, Reagan said.

In that case, he hit a sleeping woman in the head with a sledge hammer then fled when her husband came home, according to the search warrant filed today in Spokane County Superior Court.

He was paroled in 1961, then convicted in King County in 1967 of burglary, second-degree assault, kidnap and rape.

The convictions involved two incidents, one in which Nist kidnapped a 15-year-old girl and her 2-year-old brother at gunpoint, the other in which he blindfolded and raped a woman after breaking into her home, according to the search warrant.

Nist was released from prison in 1994 and moved to the Nordin residence in 1996, Reagan said.

Investigations are being conducted in Reno and Spokane, he said.

Staff writer Meghann M. Cuniff contributed to this report.

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