A 30-year-old Owings Mills man was arrested yesterday at Taneytown Shopping Center on charges of arranging a sexual encounter over the Internet with what he thought were two 13-year-old girls, Maryland State Police said.
Richard D. Burton of the 4600 block of Embassy Circle was taken into custody at a fast-food restaurant by members of the Internet Crimes against Children Task Force, said Maj. Greg Shipley, a police spokesman.
Late last month, a Carroll County sheriff's deputy working with the task force and posing as a 13-year-old girl online was contacted via computer, police said. After several online conversations, a man arranged to meet the supposed girl and her 13-year-old friend at the restaurant in the shopping center at 8 a.m. to go to a motel to have sex, police said. The suspect arrived and was arrested, they said.
Burton was taken to Carroll County Central Booking Center for processing on charges of attempted second-degree rape, attempted second- and third-degree sex offenses, and using a computer to solicit sex with a minor.
Burton is at least the fifth man arrested in Carroll by the task force in recent months. Facing similar charges are:
William F. Foster IV, 38, of the 2700 block Keyport Lane, Bowie, who was arrested at a Westminster mall March 22.
Todd K. Thompson, 26, of the 4100 block of Madison Ave., Baltimore, who was arrested at a Finksburg fast-food restaurant Feb. 5.
Robert Michael Rysak, 41, of the 3800 block of Dunsmuir Circle, in eastern Baltimore County, arrested at the same Finksburg restaurant parking lot later Feb 5.
Jean Youssef Agbey, 48, of Alexandria, Va., who was arrested at the Westminster mall Feb. 20.
The 2 1/2 -year old task force has made almost 40 arrests in the metro area. A case awaiting a ruling by the Maryland Court of Appeals questions whether a crime is legally possible when only adult police officers and no child is involved.