British man admits to soliciting sex via Net, must leave the country

August 08, 2002|By Sheridan Lyons | Sheridan Lyons,SUN STAFF

A 30-year-old British citizen living in Owings Mills admitted yesterday that he traveled to Taneytown to have sexual relations with two 13-year-old girls in a rendezvous arranged through the Internet - with an undercover sheriff's deputy playing the part of the nonexistent teen-agers.

Richard D. Burton of the 4600 block of Embassy Circle pleaded guilty in Carroll County Circuit Court to an attempted third-degree sexual offense and use of a computer to solicit sex with a minor. He was sentenced to the two months he had served at the Carroll County Detention Center, where he had been held on $250,000 bail since his arrest June 4 on six charges.

Burton planned to catch a plane to Great Britain tonight - or last night, if he could get out of jail fast enough, defense attorney Charles L. Waechter told Carroll Circuit Judge Luke K. Burns Jr.

From May 23 to June 3, Burton initiated and outlined plans for a sexual encounter with "Stephanie" and her friend "Michelle," supposedly 13-year-old girls, to whom he sent his photograph through the Internet, said Assistant State's Attorney Amy L. Blank.

When Burton drove to the McDonald's restaurant in Taneytown, the person he had expected to meet was actually Cpl. Brad Brown of the Carroll County sheriff's department, a member of the Maryland State Police Computer Crimes Unit.

As part of the plea agreement, Burton received a suspended one-year sentence and six months of unsupervised probation. As conditions of Burton's probation, the judge said the man had to leave the country.

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