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Press Release

Columbia Man Charged with Attempting to Solicit a Minor for Sex

For Immediate Release
U.S. Attorney's Office, Western District of Missouri

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Columbia, Mo., man was charged in federal court today with attempting to entice a minor, who was actually an undercover law enforcement officer, for illicit sexual activity.

Darren Wade Lasley, 27, of Columbia, was charged in a federal criminal complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Jefferson City, Mo.

Today’s complaint alleges that Lasley attempted to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the complaint, Lasley responded to an online advertisement that was part of an undercover law enforcement investigation to seek out potential sexual predators. Lasley allegedly began sending e-mails to the decoy, who advised him that she was 14 years old.

Over the course of the next several days, the affidavit says, Lasley described his plans for a sexual encounter with the decoy through a series of e-mails. Lasley allegedly proposed visiting the decoy’s residence while her mother was at work or out of town.

On Wednesday, June 21, 2017, Lasley asked the decoy if she could sneak out of her house to meet him for a sexual rendezvous. When Lasley arrived at the meeting location in Columbia he was arrested.

Larson cautioned that the charge contained in this complaint is simply an accusation, and not evidence of guilt.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ashley S. Turner. It was investigated by the FBI and the Boone County Sheriff’s Department Cyber Crimes Task Force.

Project Safe Childhood

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys' Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit and click on the tab "resources."

Updated June 22, 2017

Project Safe Childhood