Man Pleads Guilty To Seeking Sex From Officer Who Posed As Girl

July 30, 2009|By Don Markus | Don Markus,Don.markus@baltsun.com

A 32-year-old Baltimore man who solicited sex from a Maryland police officer posing as a 13-year-old girl pleaded guilty Wednesday in Howard County Circuit Court.

Joseph Anthony Catlin of the 200 block of Collington Ave. could be sentenced to up to 10 years in prison, though prosecutors have recommended a year in the Howard County detention center, followed by supervised probation. He is to be sentenced in November.

According to the charging document, Catlin sent an instant message to the officer after seeing an advertisement titled "girls just want 2 have fun" with a personal e-mail address on Craigslist. The officer responded, telling Catlin that "Kimmy" was about to turn 14. Over the course of the next few weeks, Catlin and "Kimmy" chatted online, with the conversations becoming more graphic. They set up a meeting place in Columbia, where Catlin had arranged to pick up "Kimmy" and take her back to his house to have sex.

On Dec. 30, Catlin drove to the Starbucks in the 6400 block of Dobbin Center Way, where he was identified and arrested. Taken to the Waterloo baracks, Catlin told police that he knew "Kimmy" was only 13 and that pictures of her could be found on his Blackberry as well on his computer at his home. Catlin apologized to the arresting officer and said he "knew he should not done this bad thing," documents say.

As part of the plea agreement, Catlin will have to register as a sex offender, have no unsupervised contact with a minor, undergo psychosexual evaluation and treatment, forfeit all items seized in the arrest and be subject to unannounced periodic examinations of his computer.

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