ARAPAHOE COUNTY, Colo. — A 33-year-old registered sex offender who tried to grab an 11-year-old girl off an Aurora street last year will spend the next 25 years in prison, according to a release from the 18th Judicial District Attorney's Office. 

Tyler Mark Christensen had previously pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual exploitation of a child in the case, a class 3 felony. 

On Oct. 11, 2018, an 11-year-old girl rode the bus home from Prairie Middle School, got off the bus and was walking home on the sidewalk when Christensen approached her, the DA's office said. He then grabbed the girl and covered her mouth as she attempted to scream. The girl then bit Christensen's finger and was able to run home, the release says. 

Christensen ran off in the other direction, but was arrested the following day at an RTD bus stop. A homeowner's security camera footage helped police identify Christensen as the suspect. 

“This is the nightmare scenario that haunts parents — the one we try to reassure ourselves will not happen to our children. Here, it did. Or almost did,” said District Attorney George Brauchler. ”The bravery of this 11-year-old girl cannot be overstated in defeating the desires of a prior sex offender who sought to rip her out of our community for whatever horrible uses about which we can only speculate.” 

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Other charges against Christensen were dismissed as part of a plea deal agreement, which also meant that his 11-year-old victim did not have to testify in court, the release says. 

Arapahoe County District Court Judge Michael Spear handed down the sentence on Oct. 25. Christensen will serve his 25-year sentence in the Department of Corrections.  

Christensen has a criminal record that includes assault and trespassing from 2006, attempted sexual assault and assault from 2008, and felony menacing from 2010. He was released from prison in October 2017.

“The defendant previously sexually assaulted an 82-year-old woman, and this time he tried to sexually assault an 11-year-old girl," said Deputy District Attorney Laura Robilotta. "Due to her quick thinking and courageous actions, she was able to escape and save countless other women and girls from becoming victims." 

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