RICHMOND, Va. – A Hopewell man was sentenced to 10 years in prison, with five years suspended, for soliciting sex from a minor through Craigslist.
Michael Malone, Jr., 38, plead guilty to the crime.
Evidence was presented in court that was obtained by an undercover investigation. Originally law enforcement was investigating the online solicitation of children on Craigslist.
In April 2014, an officer came across an ad in the “Casual Encounters” section of Craigslist, posted by Malone, seeking to have casual sex with a female “of any age,” according to press release from the Attorney General’s office.
The officer responded to the defendant’s ad posing as a 13-year-old girl. Malone exchanged email and text messages with the undercover officer and arranged to meet in Amelia County for a sexual encounter.
Malone arrived at the prearranged meeting location with a newly purchased box of condoms and a six-pack of beer.
In an interview with law enforcement, Malone voluntarily admitted to communicating with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl for the purpose of meeting her for sex.
“I am pleased justice has been served and this criminal is behind bars where he cannot harm any children,” said Attorney General Mark R. Herring. “People who seek to rob children of their innocence by soliciting and manipulating them through the Internet deserve to be punished and I am proud of the hard work of the officers, investigators and prosecutors involved in this case.”