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Feds: St. Petersburg Man Tried to Have Sex with 5-Year-Old Child

Eric James Templeton | US Attorney | Crime

When arrested, he had a a bottle of personal lubricant and two lollipops, according to the U.S. attorney.

TAMPA – A St. Petersburg man has been accused of communicating through online chats and messaging with the “mother” of a 5-year-old girl concerning his desire to have sex with the child, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said.

Eric James Templeton, 31, of St. Petersburg, was charged with attempted online enticement of a minor to engage in sexual activity. If convicted, Templeton faces a mandatory minimum penalty of 10 years, and up to life, in federal prison and a potential life term of supervised release.

According to the complaint, from May 19 through May 21, Templeton engaged in chats, through an online site and through text messaging, with an individual he believed to be the mother of a five-year-old female child.

On multiple occasions during those conversations, Templeton indicated to the “mother,” actually an undercover Homeland Security Investigations special agent, his desire to engage in sexual activity with the minor “child.” On May 21, Templeton asked to meet the “mother,” and her five-year-old “child” for that purpose. Templeton arrived at the agreed upon time and location and was subsequently arrested. A search of Templeton’s person uncovered a bottle of personal lubricant and two lollipops.

A criminal complaint is merely a formal charge that a defendant has committed one or more violations of federal criminal law, and every defendant is presumed innocent unless, and until, proven guilty.

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