NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — A long-haul trucker accused in a violent kidnapping on Interstate 24 is now facing federal charges.
The U.S. Attorneys Office said Roy Nellsch, of Alabama, was indicted Wednesday by a federal grand jury on charges of kidnapping, possession of child pornography and transportation of child pornography.
According to the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation, the 62-year-old Nellsch picked up a woman along I-24 in June who had run out of gas. The woman told TBI agents she was handcuffed and told she was going to be raped.
Nellsch forced her into the sleeper part of the cab where investigators said he began assaulting her and ripped her dress. During the struggle, she was able to turn the gun toward Nellsch and pull the trigger but it did not fire. Nellsch allegedly got another handgun and hit the woman in the head.
He's accused of then handcuffing her, putting a blanket over her, and driving off along Interstate 24. As he was driving, the woman was able to slip one hand out of the handcuffs. She then put the blanket over Nellsch’s head and wrapped one arm around his throat while she tried to steer the truck and honk the horn with the other hand.
According to authorities, Nellsch pulled the truck to the side of road, took the remaining handcuff off the woman and she got out and flagged down oncoming drivers for help. 911 was called, and Nellsch was stopped and eventually arrested in Springfield, Tennessee.
He told authorities that during approximately 40 years of driving a semi, he picked up women who were stranded or hitch hiking about three to four times a year.
Investigators said the truck was searched and they found two handguns, a stun gun, handcuffs, bags containing numerous pairs of women’s underwear and bras and numerous electronic devices, including a digital camera, laptop computers, cell phones, and media storage devices.
They also found 10,000 images and videos of child pornography, including videos depicting violence against small children. Agents said there was also a ledger with lists of names, ages, locations and descriptions of women and children.
If convicted, Nellsch faces up to life in prison.