PANAMA CITY, FLORIDA – 40-year-old Thomas Monroe Lee of Gadsden, Alabama, was sentenced Wednesday, August 21st to serve 121 months in federal prison for using the Internet in an attempt to persuade, induce, and entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.
Evidence presented during a three day trial in April 2013 proved that, on June 14, 2012, law enforcement officers posed as a 14-year-old boy named Skylar and responded to an advertisement entitled “Last call!!!! – m4m – 1840 (PCB/Laguna beach),” which had been posted under the “Casual Encounters” link on Craigslist. Over the next 48 hours, Lee engaged in email chats and text messages with Skylar that were sexual in nature. Subsequently, Lee drove to a location where he had arranged to meet Skylar and transport him back to his residence to engage in sexual activity. Once Lee arrived at the location, officers from various law enforcement agencies arrested him for attempted online enticement of a child.
Lee was also sentenced to a fine in the amount of $1,000, a $100 special monetary assessment, and a 7-year term of supervised release, which he will be required to serve upon completion of his sentence.
In announcing the sentence, Pamela C. Marsh, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Florida, credited the success of this prosecution to the joint efforts of the agencies participating in the North Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Program, particularly U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations, the United States Marshals Service, Bay County Sheriff’s Office, Walton County Sheriff’s Office, and the Gainesville Police Department.
Ms. Marsh said, “The internet is a dangerous place, and we are determined to protect and provide justice to victims of internet crime.” She added, “Adult predators who seek to harm our children will be pursued and prosecuted by our office in cooperation with our law enforcement partners.”