For approximately three months, a 12-year-old female, Bethesda resident had an online and cellular phone relationship with a man later identified as Nathan Samuel Portnoy, age 23, of the 2100 block of Emilys Lane in Falls Church, Virginia. The juvenile victim portrayed herself as an adult during online conversations with Portnoy. After several phone calls during which Portnoy discussed having sexual intercourse with the victim, he suggested they meet.
On August 24 at approximately 5:30 p.m., the victim and Portnoy met and played soccer at a park near the victim’s home in Bethesda. Portnoy suggested that the two go to dinner and the victim entered Portnoy’s vehicle. After a short distance, at the request of the victim, Portnoy stopped the vehicle and the victim exited. Family members of the victim, who were driving in the area at the time, observed the victim exiting Portnoy’s vehicle and began to follow his vehicle. Portnoy pointed a gun at the family members through the back window of his vehicle. At that time, the family members stopped following Portnoy and called police.
The Family Crimes Division-Pedophile Section began to investigate the case and using vehicle registration records identified the suspect as Portnoy. An arrest warrant was obtained by detectives for Portnoy, charging him with first degree assault, kidnapping of a child under 16, and sexual solicitation of a minor.
On August 25, Montgomery County Police officers arrested Portnoy on the strength of the arrest warrant as he was driving his vehicle near his home in Virginia. Police officers also seized his vehicle. On August 30, a search warrant was executed on Portnoy’s vehicle. Evidence of value was collected to include: a loaded handgun, ammunition, gun holsters, handcuffs, zip ties, rope, a black ski mask, and several boxes of condoms.
Portnoy remains in the custody of the Virginia correctional system pending extradition to Montgomery County.
Montgomery County Police Family Crimes detectives continue to investigate the possibility of Portnoy’s involvement in other crime. Detectives are asking anyone with information about Portnoy or who believe they have been a victim of a crime involving Portnoy to please call Family Crimes Detective Onorio at 240-773-5434.