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Suspect accused of offering rides and molesting girl

OGDEN Utah (ABC 4 Utah) - He's accused of grooming a ten-year old girl. But an alert teacher discovered their secret.
OGDEN Utah (ABC 4 Utah) – A 65-year old man is accused of giving a ten year old girl rides to school and molesting her.
John McKnight of Ogden is facing a felony charge of aggravated sex abuse of a child.
According to a police affidavit the 10-year old girl claimed that “McKnight befriended her and has given her rides to school in his vehicle.”
Police say he was seen last Friday at Gramercy Elementary in Ogden dropping the girl off.

“A teacher … observed a 10-year old female student receive a kiss on the mouth by an older male,” the affidavit claims.

Police say the school contacted the girl’s father who did not know the man later identified as McKnight.
The affidavit also claims the girl told police that McKnight “touched her v----- with his hand.”
Police also claim McKnight was giving the girl money and gifts.

“In this case the individual was certainly going out of his way to develop a relationship with this young girl and then use that relationship to his advantage to abuse her,” says Eric Young an assistant police chief with Ogden police.

A spokesman for Ogden School District says those that spotted the man were following policy to report any suspicious activity

“Fortunately, we had teachers and employees that were very vigilant and were able to intervene on behalf of child safety,” says Zac Williams with the district.

According to police McKnight met the victim while walking on Park Boulevard. He told police that he does not know the victim’s last name or her parents.

“I didn’t’ do anything like that,” McKnight says.

McKnight lives a short distance from the school. He says nothing happened between he and the girl.
This is the conversation he had with ABC 4 Utah:
Reporter: “A teacher claims she saw you kissing her.”
Mcknight: Well that's okay. We're friends.
Reporter: “Is she (girl) making it up or what?
McKnight: “No.”
Reporter: “She's not making it up?”
Mcknight. “Some of it. But not all of it.”
Reporter: “Why did this happen?”
McKnight: “I don't know.”
Reporter: “Why were you with a ten year old girl?”
McKnight: “Well we were friends. We were just friends. We didn't do anything.”
Reporter: Police claimed you touched her?
McKnight: “I did not.”

McKnight was booked into jail and now faces one felony count of aggravated child sex abuse. ABC4 Utah found McKnight at his home.
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