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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Missouri

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Columbia Man Indicted for Enticing a Minor for Sex

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – Tom Larson, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Columbia, Mo., man was indicted by a federal grand jury today for attempting to entice an undercover officer, whom he believed was a 14-year-old girl, to meet for illicit sex.

Darren Wade Lasley, 28, of Columbia, was charged in an indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Jefferson City, Mo. Today’s indictment replaces a federal criminal complaint that was filed against Lasley on June 22, 2017.

The federal indictment alleges that Lasley attempted to entice a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity between June 14 and June 21, 2017.

According to an affidavit that was filed in support of the original criminal complaint, a detective with the Boone County Sheriff’s Department posted an undercover online advertisement in an attempt to seek out potential sexual predators. On June 14, 2017, the decoy began receiving e-mails from Lasley. The decoy told Lasley she was 14 years old and they exchanged photographs.

In e-mail exchanges over the course of the next several days, the affidavit says, Lasley described his plans for a sexual encounter with the decoy. Lasley allegedly proposed visiting the decoy’s residence while her mother was at work or out of town. On 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 arranged meeting location, he was arrested.

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

Project Safe Childhood
Updated July 5, 2017