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Man accused of trying to have sex with 5-year-old at Henrico motel faces more charges

Posted at 10:28 PM, Feb 23, 2015
and last updated 2015-02-23 23:11:34-05

HENRICO COUNTY, Va. --  A Stafford man accused of traveling to Henrico with a teddy bear in order to try to have sex with a five-year-old is facing a slew of new charges.

Louis Ponterio, who has been moved to Henrico Jail East, now faces 12 felony indictments alleging he made solicitations to sexually abuse a five-year-old girl, who did not actually exist.

CBS 6 News Jon Burkett first reported Ponterio’s arrest in Stafford County on Feb. 9.

He was only charged with five felonies, but now seven more have been tacked on as a result of direct indictments from a multi-jurisdictional grand jury.

Louis Ponterio

Louis Ponterio

RELATED: Man arrested at Henrico motel planned to have sex with 5-year-old girl

"You can have multiple charges for one incident,” CBS 6 legal analyst Todd Stone said. “These are some of the most penalized cases on the books."

Court documents show a local prostitute was cooperating with detectives and federal agents to uncover people trying to have sexual contact with minors. Those documents say Ponterio asked the prostitute if she had any children. She told him that she had a five-year-old.

Affidavits suggest an arrangement was made and when Ponterio was arrested outside an East End Econo Lodge, he was carrying a teddy bear, a sex toy and other items.

“All of the things he brought go to his intent, but specifically the conversation about bringing Hersey’s chocolate and marijuana,” said Stone. “That's going to help identify that he was indeed, on the other end."

Stone said even though the five-year-old does not exist, the case can still demonstrate solid intent.

"These cases are like shooting fish in a barrel for them,” Stone said. “They pose as 12- and 13-year-olds all the time. But to have a guy show up with those items is rare. And when you are talking about a five-year-old child, it makes it more aggravated than a normal case."

If convicted, Stone said the mandatory minimums for Ponterio's charges would be more than a life sentence.