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Police ruse leads to Internet crime charge for Milwaukee man

In efforts to file criminal charges, sometimes police in Wisconsin will employ tricky tactics. That is exactly what happened in Waukesha County recently when a police officer pretended online to be a 15-year-old girl. Now a 44-year-old Milwaukee man has been charged with Internet crimes.

He is accused of using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. Police claim the man chatted online with a detective who pretended to be a 15-year-old girl. The man is said to have responded to the falsely stated age with the word "nice."

The criminal complaint alleges that the conversation between the detective and the suspect became sexually explicit, and that the suspect sent the detective video of himself masturbating.

There was purportedly a discussion about meeting up at a local mall, and the detective claims to have chatted with the same man several months earlier. Exactly why the detective came to that conclusion wasn't disclosed in a local news report.

The police claim the 44-year-old offered to provide wine coolers for the would-be teenager. Eventually, a meeting was arranged at a Waukesha restaurant, and the detective pretending to be a teenager claims to have asked the 44-year-old to bring condoms, but the man indicated that condoms would not be necessary.

At the restaurant, police approached the man as he sat in a booth. He told authorities that he agreed to meet the would-be teenager to talk about the dangers of meeting up with older men.

A search of the man's vehicle revealed a cooler containing an undisclosed amount of Miller Lite, though it isn't clear if the man intended to give any beer to a teenager.

After further questioning, the man apparently admitted to trying to meet a 15-year-old for sex. The criminal complaint alleges that he also admitted to chatting with a teenage girl from Glendale who agreed to send a video of herself naked. Whether those statements were obtained in accordance with criminal law remains a matter to be decided in court.

The allegations this man is facing are very serious, and anyone in Wisconsin confronted with a similar situation will want to be fully aware of his or her rights under federal and state laws.

Source: Waukesha Patch, "Man Charged After Getting Caught in Internet Sex Sting," Joe Petrie, April 15, 2012

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