He was lured into woods and robbed. But a rape confession is what the teens wanted, Missouri cops say

Three Missouri teens — including 17-year-olds Jared Pinkley, left, and Nathan Meurer, right — were arrested after Wentzville police say they lured a man into woods and robbed him, hoping to make him confess to raping one of the teens.
Three Missouri teens — including 17-year-olds Jared Pinkley, left, and Nathan Meurer, right — were arrested after Wentzville police say they lured a man into woods and robbed him, hoping to make him confess to raping one of the teens. Wentzville Police Department

The teens’ goal was to get a rape confession out of her ex-boyfriend, police said.

Instead, all that the three suspects got from their victim was $61 from his wallet. They also got arrested on kidnapping charges for the plot they concocted and carried out, according to police in Wentzville, Missouri.

It started last week, when a juvenile girl’s 17-year-old ex-boyfriend unblocked her on Snapchat and reached out to her, police said. He and his ex-girlfriend weren’t on good terms: The girl had accused him of rape following a sexual encounter last year, according to records obtained from the St. Charles County Prosecuting Attorney’s office.

After the ex-boyfriend unblocked the girl on Snapchat, she alerted her new boyfriend, Nathan Meurer, and a mutual friend, Jared Pinkley, both 17. The three decided to seize their chance, according to court records, and spent all week creating a ruse to lure the victim into the woods with the promise of sex. Then they planned to extract a rape confession from the ex-boyfriend, police said.

On April 20, the trio set their plan in motion — and for a while, it went as anticipated.

First, the girl convinced her ex-boyfriend that “she was sorry for accusing him and causing him grief,” according to court records. She said she wanted to meet up in the woods to talk over the last encounter and have sex again.

Pinkley was dispatched to pick up their victim at his home in Wright City, Missouri, a 15-minute drive west of Wentzville in suburban St. Louis.

When Pinkley dropped the victim off near a Wentzville elementary school, the girl was waiting, court records said. Pinkley went to pick up Meurer next, and the two hid in the woods, near the spot where they had set up lawn chairs and blankets for the girl and the victim.

The girl and ex-boyfriend soon arrived at the area with the chairs and sat down together — until she got up to answer a pretend phone call from her dad, according to court records. That’s when the victim heard the two 17-year-olds approach. First he saw Meurer, dressed in all black, about 10 feet behind him. Then he heard a chain rattle from the other direction, and looked to see Pinkley in front of him wearing all black, a ski mask and a white bandana, court records said. Pinkley also had a chain wrapped around his shoulder.

Approaching from behind, Meurer wrapped his arms around the victim’s neck and started choking him, court records said. Pinkley took the chain off his shoulder and tried to use it to bind their victim’s arms and wrists.

The victim told police “the chain was not done very well and he was able to shake it off,” court records said.

Pinkley then took out what looked like a 9mm handgun and pressed it first to the side of the victim’s head, then to the victim’s chest, court records said. The pair asked the victim if he knew what this was about.

The victim asked for a hint, according to court records. The pair responded by saying the juvenile girl’s name.

At that point, the girl came back. But when Pinkley pointed the gun at her and told her to leave, she did, court records said.

The victim then told the pair that his previous encounter with the girl had been consensual. They responded by telling him “he had a bounty on his head for raping her,” according to court records.

The victim pleaded with them not to hurt him and to take his money instead. Pinkley punched the victim in the face — and then they searched for his wallet and took $61 in cash, court records said. After that, they let him go.

Police later found the three suspects at the juvenile girl’s home, court records said. A search warrant executed April 22 revealed evidence linking the three to the crime scene: A firearm similar to the one the victim described (though it turned out to be a BB gun), cell phones and a bed sheet matching one from the crime scene.

Authorities also found a burned white bandana — like the one the victim described Pinkley wearing — that had been disposed in a nearby drainage area.

Pinkley, Meurer and the juvenile girl all confessed to committing the crime, police said. Court records said the suspects showed no remorse for the victim — and that “none of the suspects seemed to comprehend the seriousness of their actions.”

The two 17-year-olds were arrested on suspicion of several charges, including first-degree robbery, first-degree kidnapping, armed criminal action and tampering with evidence, according to court records. Because the girl is a juvenile, her name and charges have not been released.

“As you look at the ages of these young people involved, then you have to think it was some combination of some sort of fantasy that maybe they dreamed up — whether it’s from a video game or a movie or something like that,” St. Charles County Prosecutor Tim Lohmar told KMOV.

Wentzville police said there was no indication the girl had ever reported the alleged rape to local authorities.