David A. Lavera / The Des Moines Register
NEWTON, Iowa -- A second teenager has accused a 33-year-old California man who claimed to be an actor from the movie series "Twilight" of inappropriately touching her, raising questions about whether police should have intervened last week before the man reportedly lured another girl into his vehicle.
David A. LaVera of San Diego, Calif., was arrested Tuesday after police say he inappropriately touched a different girl and drove off with her in Baxter. The girl was found unharmed.
LaVera appears to have told both girls he was an actor in the popular movie series "Twilight" and enticed each girl to go to a park with him.
That's what he did on June 3, said Tammy Adams, who accused LaVera of touching her daughter inappropriately.
Adams said LaVera told her daughter that he was an actor in "Twilight" and talked her and a friend into going to a park with him. While there, LaVera inappropriately touched her daughter, Adams said.
He asked the girl if they could meet in the evening and make out, Adams said. The girl planned on staying at her friend's home and sneaking out in the evening, but her mother found out and called Newton police.
Adams said the police didn't arrest LaVera. An officer from Newton found LaVera at a bar that same evening, and told him that if he attempted to entice a girl again, he would be arrested, Adams said.
"They didn't do anything about it," said Raven Adams, Tammy's daughter. "If they had, I don't think this would have happened to this other girl."
Newton Police Department officials would have investigated LaVera more quickly if they were aware inappropriate touching occurred, police Lt. Bill Henninger told the Register.
Henninger said the initial report the department received regarding Raven Adams stated LaVera was making friends with girls at the park.
"It all obviously seems odd, but being odd is not a crime," he said.
Raven Adams said she met LaVera on May 28 during lunch at Berg Middle School's cafeteria, where he was signing autographs and taking photos with students. He performed at an assembly at the school May 30, where Raven Adams said he was presented as David LaVera. On June 2, he attended a school-sponsored pool party.
Tammy Adams said she questions how LaVera was allowed in the school, and then allowed to perform in an assembly and attend the party. "It's scary the schools would let him in without checking him," the mother said.
Raven Adams said the incident has scared her. She hopes her experience will serve as "an eye-opener for young people" and teach them not to hang out with "strangers they don't know," she said.
LaVera was presented to school officials as David LaVera, a stuntman from California, Newton schools superintendent Bob Callaghan said. A family brought LaVera to school, where he spoke in the child's classroom with both parents present, Callaghan said.
LaVera also went with the parents to have lunch with their elementary-aged child at Aurora Heights Intermediate School, Callaghan said.
In both cases, the schools followed the protocol of having visitors sign in and be accompanied in the school, he said.
LaVera was invited back to perform stunts at a Berg Middle School assembly, Callaghan said.
The Newton school board meets June 23 and will likely discuss procedures on allowing visitors in schools.
"I think we'll identify the factors that took place and allow input on signing in and out and school-community relations. If a policy is put in place, it affects everyone," he said.
It continues to remain unclear, after being introduced under one name, how LaVera was able to persuade several teens he was a different actor, officials said.
The family of the girl LaVera was with on Tuesday when he was arrested is "numb," said Trena McKenzie, the girl's grandmother. "The whole family is numb."
McKenzie said her granddaughter, along with others, believed LaVera was Kiowa Gordon, an actor in the "Twilight" movies.
On Tuesday, McKenzie was at home when her granddaughter's best friend knocked on the door. The girl was teary-eyed, McKenzie said.
The friend told McKenzie that the woman's granddaughter left with LaVera and that she hadn't heard from them.
"She said the guy was from 'Twilight' and I didn't let her finish. I just called the police," McKenzie said.
Friends of the family and police located LaVera and McKenzie's granddaughter in Baxter. McKenzie said she is thankful for the people who stepped in front of LaVera's car and told the girl to get into their car.
"Without that, I don't think we'd have our granddaughter," McKenzie said.
LaVera is charged with enticing a minor, carrying weapons and failure to have a valid driver's license. He is being held in Jasper County Jail in Newton on a $50,000 bond and is scheduled to appear in court on Monday.
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Read the original story: 2nd teen claims she was lured in 'Twilight' case