Recognizing signs of physical child abuse
A Tennessee man who thought he had arranged to have sex with a 9-year-old girl in Frankfort ended up instead with 25 years in federal prison.
U.S. District Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove sentenced Billy Gene Spears Jr., 47, of Jacksboro, Tenn., Wednesday in Frankfort.
The case started in October 2017 when Spears posted an advertisement on Craigslist in Louisville seeking to find “moms that are into taboo. Incest and etc.,” according to a court document.
An undercover officer with the Kentucky Attorney General’s Office responded, posing as the 30-year mother of a 9-year-old girl.
In graphic messages over the next few days, Spears made clear he wanted to have sex with both the mother and daughter, asking in one message “could u handle having a relationship and sex with the guy that also was having sex with ur daughter.”
Spears also said he had been with young girls “a few times,” according to the court record.
Spears made arrangements to travel to Kentucky on Oct. 21, 2017.
The undercover officer, who tracked Spears’ travel by tracing his cell phone, and other police met him in Franklin County and arrested him.
Spears was charged with using the internet to persuade someone under age 18 to have sex; crossing a state line to have sex with someone under age 12; and possessing child pornography.
He pleaded guilty to the charge involving traveling to Kentucky.
Spears told Van Tatenhove in a letter that he has three children and three grandchildren, and that he intended to take any classes he could in prison to “control myself from having these evil conducts” happen again.
Spears will have to serve at least 85 percent of his sentence.