ICAC Sting Leads to Arrest of Seminole Man

For several years, NBC's Dateline featured a program called "To Catch a Predator." In this program, host Chris Hansen waited with a camera crew inside a home where unsuspecting men went to meet the "underage teens" with whom they had been chatting online. Those "teens" turned out to be adult decoys working with police (and Dateline producers) to catch adults seeking to engage in sex with minors. In the show's later years, a large percentage of the men confronted replied to Chris Hansen, "I should have known it was Dateline." Indeed, they should have known better--not only that their efforts to meet minors for sex was against the law, but also that there is a good chance that whomever they are speaking to over the internet is likely not who they thought. Even though the "To Catch a Predator" series is now defunct, law enforcement agents conduct undercover investigative online stings every day. In Oklahoma, the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force works to apprehend those involved in computer sex crimes and the sexual exploitation of children. Often, ICAC agents are instrumental in arresting Oklahomans accused of downloading or distributing child pornography; other times, these agents pose as minors online, engaging in sexual conversations with adults and arranging to meet with these adults. When the adult shows up at the designated meeting place, he or she is not met by a teen or pre-teen paramour, but rather by armed deputies and police officers. On Friday, a similar scenario played out in Seminole--only this time, Canadian County Sheriff's Deputies did not wait for the suspect to come to them. A Canadian County ICAC investigator posing as a 15-year-old girl from Yukon began chatting over Facebook with 29-year-old Kevin Horne, of Seminole. Undersheriff Chris West told reporters that the conversations became increasingly sexually explicit and moved from Facebook messages to cell phone messages. On Friday, Horne allegedly told the "girl" that if she didn't come to Seminole to meet him, he would drive to Yukon to kidnap her. Because of the nature of Horne's alleged messages, Sheriff Randall Edwards said, "[It] was time to go get him." When deputies arrested Horne at his home, he allegedly admitted that he intended to have sex with the 15-year-old, and that he even bought a new mattress for that purpose. Horne was booked into the Canadian County Jail on a complaint of soliciting a minor through use of technology. His bond was set at $150,000. Soliciting minors online is a felony sex crime punishable by 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $10,000. It is a Level 2 sex offense which requires anyone convicted to register as an Oklahoma sex offender every six months for 25 years.

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