A man from England has admitted in federal court that he traveled to Kentucky last summer for sex with an underage Eastern Kentucky girl whom he met and established a relationship with through Facebook and Skype.
Solomon Blue Waters, 42, of London pleaded guilty Wednesday to using the Internet to knowingly induce or entice a minor to engage in sexual activity, U.S. District Attorney Kerry Harvey said Thursday.
Harvey said in an interview that it is the first case that he could recall in which someone traveled from another country to the Eastern District of Kentucky intending to have sex with a minor.
The U.S. Attorney's Office and Waters agreed to a prison sentence of 11 to 14 years, pending a judge's approval, a news release from Harvey's office said.
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Waters admitted that he developed an online relationship with the minor in 2011.
Waters met the 13-year-old girl from Pike County by playing a game called Mafia Wars on the social network Facebook, according to court documents.
After a few weeks of playing Mafia Wars and chatting on Facebook, Waters and the girl began having online sexual conversations through Skype, a voice, video and instant-messaging service. The girl also took sexually explicit photographs that she sent to him by telephone, court records said.
Certain conversations on Facebook's chat feature were reported by Facebook to the Kentucky State Police Electronic Crimes Branch, which was the impetus for the police investigation, court documents said.
In July 2012, a state police undercover detective posed as the girl, who had turned 14, to continue communications with Waters. During those conversations, Waters expressed his desire to have sex with her on a planned visit to Kentucky.
Court documents do not identify the girl.
On Aug. 27, Waters flew from England to Blue Grass Airport in Lexington, where he was arrested by state police and officers with U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement's Homeland Security Investigations.
"Through the great work of state and federal law enforcement authorities, we were able to avoid what could have been a horrible result," Harvey said. "But we can't assume that will happen in every case.
"This case demonstrates just how essential it is for parents to very carefully monitor the Internet activities of their children and not to assume their children are safe from harm just because they are home using their computer," he said.
"Parents are the first and last line of defense against these predators," Harvey said.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Edward B. Atkins scheduled Waters' sentencing for Sept. 5 in Pikeville.