Indiana man convicted of child solicitation tried to meet up with 14-year-old girl for sex
JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ind. (WAVE) - After being busted as part of an undercover sting operation aimed at tracking down sexual predators, a man convicted of child solicitation, attempted sexual misconduct with a minor, and driving with a suspended license in Southern Indiana admitted to investigators that he was a “habitual offender.”
The operation nabbed more than 20 suspects, including Rick Deck, 58, of Kokomo, who was convicted on April 28 in Jefferson Circuit Court. Deck revealed after the jury’s verdict that this was not his first attempt to abuse minors, according to Jefferson County Prosecutor David Sutter.
Deck was arrested after chatting online with an undercover Madison Police officer in September 2020, Sutter said. During the conversation, he told the officer, who was posing as a 14-year-old girl, “sure I like little girls.” Deck had sexual conversations with the undercover officer on the fake profile for more than a week, explaining the things he wanted to do to the child for several days. Deck noted several times that he was aware of the girl’s age on the fake profile.
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Deck told the undercover officer that he planned to go to Madison “to engage in sexual intercourse with the profile” and on Oct. 9, 2020, Sutter said Deck and the officer made plans to meet at the Broadway Fountain. He messaged the profile when he arrived, explaining that he was looking for the fountain, and he was given directions over the phone.
Deck struck up a discussion with a woman at the fountain who turned out to be an undercover officer. Deck was arrested, and investigators found a sex toy similar to what he had described in a text message when they searched his car.
Sutter said Deck could face up to 32 years in jail; his sentencing is scheduled for May 23.
“I appreciate the jury’s service, and am pleased with this outcome,” Sutter said in a statement. “Sexual predators are a tremendous threat to our children and I’m glad the jury followed the evidence and returned a guilty verdict. I want to thank all the law enforcement agencies and officers for their excellent work in this case, especially Officer Shawn Scudder, the lead detective on the case, as well as Detective Ricky Harris and Officer Nichole Midgett. … Every single day, our children are at risk of being targeted by sexual predators online. Children are vulnerable to falling victim to these predators who are very cunning and manipulative. I urge parents to talk with their children about being safe online and never, ever agreeing to meet someone they don’t know.”
There are several felonies on Deck’s criminal record which include dealing methamphetamine, burglary, and robbery.
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