ALBANY, Ga. -- The Internet sexual advances of an Atlanta man landed him in the Dougherty County jail Wednesday, said Dougherty County Police Sgt. Chad Kirkpatrick.
"I posed as a 14-year-old girl in online chat rooms," said Kirkpatrick. "He agreed to meet for sex, that's all he had to do."
A May 3 chat-room meeting progressed with Kirkpatrick playing the part until a suspected molester had made his intentions clear. A meeting was set, but the suspect, Bryan Stern, 29, never showed.
Although the meeting never took place, it is against the law under Georgia's Child Exploitation Prevention Act to use a computer to "seduce, solicit, lure or entice a child" or someone believed to be a child for indecent purposes, states the law.
U. S. Marshalls arrested Stern at his home around 3 p.m. Tuesday on charges of obscene Internet contact with a child and sexual exploitation of a child, Kirkpatrick said.
Stern was transported to Dougherty County jail and booked in by jail staff with no bond set Wednesday afternoon, a jail spokeswoman said.
To avoid charges of entrapment, posers such as Kirkpatrick do not initiate chat room interaction about sex.
"The molester will begin by grooming who he thinks is a child," said county police Lt. Danny Ball. "He'll ask her age, if she's ever been kissed. Step by step over time he'll get to the sex."
The whole operation is part of the county police commitment to a national Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program. County police joined the program in 2006, Ball said.
The Georgia program is a multi-agency task force that includes among other agencies the Georgia Bureau of Investigation.
Nationally, The program is a network of 61 task forces representing more than 2,000 federal, state and local law enforcement agencies, according to the national Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention website, ojjdp.ncjrs.gov.