A 46-year-old man arrested on suspicion of seeking sex with a juvenile told police he just wanted to take the girl ice skating at a casino on the Las Vegas Strip.
Christopher Mark Damron, of Oxnard, California, was booked into jail this week. He faces charges of soliciting a child for prostitution and luring a child for sexual acts, according to news reports.
Damron recently replied to an online prostitution ad, saying he was grumpy because he had lost a lot of money, so was “trying to get happy,” according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
This response from Damron went to a Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department officer posing as a 15-year-old girl, the newspaper reported.
During the text messages, it was disclosed to Damron that the decoy was 15 years old,” police said. “After knowing the decoy’s age, Damron continued to communicate with the decoy.”
Damron texted that it was against the law to have sex with a 15-year-old person. However, he agreed to pay $200 for sex anyway and went the next day to a location that the undercover officer gave him, the newspaper reported.
Crackdown on Internet Crime
At the agreed-upon time, Damron showed up in a white Audi where the meeting was to take place near Eastern Avenue and Warm Springs Road, according to news reports.
“Damron sent a message to the decoy stating he arrived at the meeting location in a white Audi vehicle,” police said. “Damron also sent a photograph of himself to the decoy.”
Police dialed the cellphone number Damron used in texting the officer posing as a 15-year-old girl. A phone started ringing in Damron’s back pocket, police said. The suspect was arrested.
Damron told police he was not planning on having sex with the teenager. He said the girl brought up the topic of sex, but he turned her down.
Damron said he only planned to take the girl ice skating at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas on the Strip, according to KLAS-TV. He said he had a room at the Cosmopolitan, the television station reported.
The Cosmopolitan towers above the Jockey Club on the west side of the Strip near the Bellagio. During the holiday season, a swimming pool at the Cosmopolitan is converted into an ice skating rink. The resort recently beefed up its in-house security in response to a surge in violence on the Strip.
Damron’s arrest was one of 11 in a police and FBI crackdown on internet crimes against children in the area, according to the Review-Journal. Also arrested was Tyler Yost, 29, an assistant principal at Derfelt Elementary School, the newspaper reported.
‘Cowboy Buckles and Boots’
This incident is the second in recent weeks which involved a suspected juvenile sex crime.
In November, police arrested a 49-year-old man at a small hotel-casino in Las Vegas on suspicion of the sex trafficking of a child under age 18.
The man told the juvenile girl about making money as a prostitute. The girl was told to charge $500 for each sexual encounter. She also was told to look for men wearing “cowboy buckles and boots” as potential good customers, according to published accounts.
The juvenile was told to make her customers drink a shot of liquor to be sure the person was not an undercover officer, police said.
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