A man from Sussex, Wisconsin, is facing serious charges after being accused of using the Internet to facilitate a sex crime. He joins the increasing ranks of defendants who fall under the impression they're communicating with potential sexual partners, only to discover later that they've been duped by police investigators.
According to the Waukesha County Sheriff's Office, the 33-year-old man was caught trying to meet up with a 14-year-old girl for sex. He was charged at the end of last month with one count of use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime, a charge that comes with up to 40 years in prison and $100,000 in fines.
The online exchange began on a Friday afternoon between the man and an undercover officer posing as a teenage girl from Waukesha. According to a criminal complaint, the man initially told the "girl" that at age 14, she was too young for him. But after he asked what she looked like and was sent a photo, the conversation continued. Eventually the man asked where the two could meet, the complaint said. The girl asked if the man would bring condoms, to which he allegedly agreed.
A Waukesha police captain briefed by the undercover detective spotted a pickup truck near the proposed meeting spot at a park. She soon approached the man, who said he was waiting for a friend. The criminal complaint said he later admitted he was waiting for a teenage girl about 14 or 15, and when shown a printed-out copy of his chat with the undercover officer, said he was embarrassed. He claimed he'd planned to tell the girl when she arrived that he couldn't go through with the meeting.
Stings like this one are becoming increasingly common, in part because they're so often effective for police detectives; people looking for an illegal hookup online are easily caught if they choose to follow through with the plans they make. If you're arrested after being talked into meeting up with an underage person, you'll need a criminal defense attorney who can examine your case for signs of entrapment or evidence that police protocol wasn't followed. Once you're arrested, you'll need experienced, effective counsel to avoid the type of serious prison time and heavy fines the man in this case now faces.
Source: Living Lake Country, "Sussex man charged with sex crime," Paige Brunclick, July 2, 2012