12 Jul

A Zirconia, North Carolina, man was recently sentenced to 10 years in federal prison and a lifetime of supervision after online enticement of a minor. The man admitted to the sex crime of sending nude photos to a girl he believed was only 12-years-old. The girl was actually a law enforcement officer.

The man also admitted to setting up a meeting time with the minor for sexual acts and travelling to meeting the “girl.” Law enforcement officers arrested the man as he drove to meet the girl in late 2010. He entered a guilty plea in federal District Court, the Western District of North Carolina.

According to law enforcement agencies, this online act was caught by the combined efforts of local, state and federal enforcement officers.

The federal initiative Project Safe Childhood targets online predators who may be reaching out to young, innocent children. The project was launched in 2006 by the federal Justice Department. The goal is to help victims of online sexual predators and also “apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children via the Internet.”

With the explosion of Internet use, it is believed that more and more predators are using online sources to seek minors to engage in sexual acts. With heightened law enforcement efforts to combat this sort of sex crime, however, it’s common that suspects are caught via undercover officers.

Source: Blue Ridge Now, “Zirconia Man Gets 10 Years for Internet Enticement,” 7/8/2011