FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 08, 2011
Fayetteville, Arkansas - Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for the Western District of Arkansas announced Michael Patrick Sturtevant, age 29, of Fayetteville, Arkansas was sentenced to 120 months imprisonment with no possiblity of parole and fined $15,000 today for the crime of online solicitation of a minor. Sturtevant used the internet site “Craig’s List” to solicit sexual contact with a minor. In fact, the person with whom Sturtevant was corresponding was a Fayetteville Police Detective. Honorable Jimm Larry Hendren, Chief United States District Judge, imposed the sentence in U.S. District Court in Fayetteville, Arkansas.
“This case demonstrates that those who use the internet to solicit sexual activity with minors will be held accountable for their actions. Crimes targeting children are a very high priority for our office, and we will continue to pursue and prosecute such cases,” said Conner Eldridge, United States Attorney for Western District of Arkansas.
On January 19, 2011, the Fayetteville Police Department received a complaint from a concerned parent regarding a suspicious internet posting on “Craig’s List” entitled “High school or college aged girl wanted for lunchtime fun.” The post read that a male was looking for high school or college aged females to engage in sexual acts and do sexual favors for him.
On January 20, 2011, an undercover investigation was initiated by the Fayetteville Police Department, in which an officer posing in an undercover capacity replied to the posting saying “I am a sophomore at Fayetteville High School, what age you looking for?” The suspect replied “ I was hoping for 15 to 18.” Over the course of approximately two weeks, the suspect initiated conversations via the internet with the same 15 year old persona, focusing on sexual activity.
On February 1, 2011, the suspect made arrangements to meet the fifteen (15) year old persona. Later that day, the suspect, upon arriving at a predetermined location, was placed under arrest and identified as Michael Patrick Sturtevant, a twenty nine (29) year old male living in Fayetteville, Arkansas. During an interview with police, Sturtevant admitted that he was, in fact, the one having conversations with someone he thought was a fifteen (15) year old female. Further, he admitted that his intention was to engage in sexual intercourse with the 15 year old persona.
On April 28, 2011, Sturtevant entered a plea of guilty to count one of the Indictment charging him with using a facility and means of interstate commerce to knowingly attempt to persuade, induce, entice and coerce an individual whom has not attained the age of 18 years, to engage in any sexual activity for which any person can be charged with a criminal offense, all in violation of Title 18 U.S.C. § 2242(b).
The case was investigated by the Fayetteville Police Department. Assistant United States Attorney Dustin Roberts prosecuted the case for the United States.
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