Federal judge dismisses on-line underage sex case

Thursday, August 4th 2005, 6:29 am
By: News On 6

A federal judge has thrown out a jury's conviction of a man accused of trying to have sex with a 14-year old girl he met online.

The District Court judge in Kansas let the defendant go, because the "minor" he met on the internet was actually an undercover police officer. Prosecutors are appealing the case. The tactic is one frequently used by investigators across the nation, including Tulsa. Some are concerned the ruling could change the way police go after pedophiles. Tulsa Police are confident it won't, saying acting as an undercover officer in these cases is fully within the realm of the law.

Tulsa Police Detective Don Holloway: "We're going out looking for people predisposed to molesting a child, they're just using the computer to do that, it's no different than a drug enforcement officer going to a high drug profile area and making drug arrests."

Police say these investigations take several months. Age is mentioned many times during the online chat and when suspects finally show up in person, they do so intending to have sex with a minor.