A Fremont man is charged with a series of crimes for traveling to Beatrice to have sex with what he thought would be a 15-year-old girl.
Beatrice Police Sergeant Jay Murphy says an officer posed as a mother offering her daughter for sex in exchange for money. Sergeant Murphy says parents need to protect their children from such internet predators.
“I give a lot of talks on internet safety to kids and parents,” Murphy says. “It’s amazing how some of them are unaware of how kids can get contacted on different types of software, whether it be games or on the website, just as you’re searching.”
The suspect, 42-year-old Mark Avis, is charged with suspicion of pandering, debauching a minor, solicitation, contributing to the delinquency of a minor, child abuse, electronic child enticement and attempted first-degree sexual assault.
Police say they held several conversations with Avis about the transaction, in email and through texts. Murphy says they followed very specific protocols.
Murphy says, “As part of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, we do have certain standards and policies we have to follow when we do these types of investigations, to avoid things like entrapment, the wording that you use, the way you hold your conversations with the suspect.”
Beatrice Police set up a time and location to meet and exchange money with the suspect to have a sexual encounter with an officer posing as a 15-year-old girl. When Avis arrived, he was arrested.
By Doug Kennedy, KWBE, Beatrice