2 accused of soliciting minors over Internet

Police say officers posed as youths in a chat room

July 17, 2002|By Jason Song | Jason Song,SUN STAFF

Two men, including one from Elkridge, have been arrested and charged with soliciting sex from minors on the Internet, authorities said yesterday.

Richard J. Moore, 34, of the 6600 block of Cambria Terrace in Elkridge, and Wayne D. Sharer, 42, of the 7000 block of Bedrock Road in Alexandria, Va., were each charged Friday with one count of attempted second-degree sex offense, a count of attempted second-degree rape and one count of using a computer to solicit sex with a minor.

Moore and Sharer did not know each other, according to Sgt. Robert Smolek of the Maryland State Police.

The state police is one of several law enforcement units involved in the Maryland Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, which targets people who use the Internet to exploit children.

Moore and Sharer made contact with task force members who were posing as minors in an Internet chat room and offered to have sex with them at pre- arranged locations, police said.

When the men showed up Friday -- Moore in Frederick and Sharer in Columbia -- they were arrested by task force members, police said.

Such arrests are being challenged legally. In 2000, a Fredrick County Circuit Court judge dismissed charges against a New Jersey man who authorities said traveled to Frederick to meet with what he believed to be a 15-year-old girl.

Because the supposed minor actually was an adult law enforcement officer, the judge ruled that no crime had been committed.

The case is before the Maryland Court of Appeals.

Moore is being held at the Fredrick County Central Booking Facility in lieu of $65,000 bond. Sharer was released from the Carroll County Central Booking Facility on $25,000 bond, authorities said.

The arrests are the 12th and 13th the task force has made this year.

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