An Eagle River man was arrested early this week on charges of engaging in a sexual relationship with an underage girl he met online, according to Anchorage police.
Troy Julsen, 37, was arrested by Anchorage police Tuesday on a $100,000 warrant. He was charged with nine counts of online solicitation, unlawful exploitation of a minor and sexual abuse of a 14-year-old girl.
According to police, the investigation began in April 2014, when parents concerned about their 14-year-old daughter's Internet activity contacted police. The girl's parents had learned that she had entered into a relationship with Julsen, whom she had met online.
Police investigated the incident and found that Julsen used a smartphone app called Whisper, an anonymous messaging service, to find and locate local girls. Julsen cultivated relationships with the girls, starting with text messaging. Some of the communications escalated to sexting and meeting in person for sexual contact.
According to state prosecutors, the investigation found evidence that Julsen had exchanged approximately 12,000 text messages with the 14-year-old victim to solicit nude pictures, engage in sexual fantasies and set up in-person meetings.
During the investigation, prosecutors said Julsen admitted to police that during a meeting with the victim "it was possible" he had engaged in sexual contact with her before seeing her parents and fleeing into the woods.
He told police he believed the girl was his "soul partner," but that their relationship was probably in a "gray area" when confronted about whether he knew about her age.
If convicted, Julsen faces a sentencing range of five to 15 years with a maximum sentence of 99 years.
The investigation remains ongoing. Detectives are concerned there could be additional victims. Anyone with information is asked to contact Anchorage police.
Reach Suzanna Caldwell at firstname.lastname@example.org.
By SUZANNA CALDWELL