Steve Pierce, sex offender, wanted for molesting family member, age nine

Steve Pierce's first arrest for a sex crime took place when he was just twelve years old.

And the Thornton Police Department feels confident he hasn't grown out of this abominable habit despite the decades that have passed, not to mention numerous additional run-ins with the law.

Pierce is now wanted for molesting a member of his own family.

She's just nine years old.

At about 3 a.m. on Wednesday, according to the TPD, officers received a call from the North Suburban Medical Center. Doctors there had examined a nine-year-old girl and determined that she'd been sexually assaulted, causing injuries serious enough that she was subsequently transported to Children's Hospital.

Making these health issues even more distressing is the amount of time that passed between her molestation and medical treatment. Investigators believe that Pierce abused the girl in a parking lot on the 9100 block of North Huron Street at around 10 p.m. the previous Sunday -- meaning she'd been dealing with what happened to her for more than two days before the North Suburban visit.

Later that day, invesigators obtained an arrest warrant for Pierce, 35, on suspicion of sexual assault on a child and sex assault on a child by someone in a position of trust.

The rest of the family trusted him, too. The girl's grandmother told 9News the clan knew he'd been to jail for crimes such as burglary and theft. But they had no idea he'd been busted for sexual assault back in 1990, when he was still a tween, and was rousted again in 2004 for failing to register as a sex offender.

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Police believe Pierce (described as five-feet eight-inches tall and 200 pounds, with brown hair, a goatee and blue eyes sometimes seen behind glasses) is still in the area, since he has neither a car nor a cell phone. He's considered dangerous; anyone who knows his whereabouts is encouraged to contact their local police.

Here's an interactive graphic of the area near the crime scene (if you have problems seeing the image, click "View Larger Map"), followed by two Pierce booking photos and the 9News report.

View Larger Map

More from our Colorado Crimes archive: "John Vigil pleads guilty to fatal child abuse case after years in mental hospital."

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