'Santa' Arrested for Lewd Proposals to a Minor

A Warr Acres man who dressed as Santa Claus for metro-area schools holiday parties and served as a baseball coach for children aged 6 and younger was arrested last week several criminal complaints including lewd acts or proposals to a minor. The Oklahoma State Bureau of Investigation (OSBI) reported that Wiley Gene Davis, 49, responded to a Craigslist classified ad he believed to be posted by a 15-year-old girl. The ad was actually placed by undercover agents with the Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force. According to the OSBI, Davis referred to himself as Santa in his response to the ad and made sexual and lewd proposals to the "girl." He arranged to meet her at a convenience store in Guthrie near the intersection of Waterloo and Coltrane. Instead of meeting a teen girl, Davis was met by undercover agents including an ICAC task force member with the Guthrie Police Department and a Logan County Sheriff's deputy. The law enforcement agents said that Davis was wearing a badge identifying him as a private investigator, and he was carrying a loaded pistol. He was arrested and taken to the Logan County jail. On Monday, Davis was formally charged in Logan County District Court with Lewd Acts or Proposals to a Minor under 16, violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act, and Possession of a Firearm in the Commission of a Felony. Lewd or Indecent Proposals or Acts to a Child under 16 (21 O.S. § 1123) is a felony punishable 3 to 20 years in prison. However, if the victim is under the age of 12, the offense is punishable by a minimum of 25 years in prison. Violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act by Using Access to Computers to Violate Oklahoma Statutes (21 O.S. § 1958) is a felony punishable by a maximum of 5 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $5,000. The penalties associated with conviction of violating the Oklahoma Computer Crimes Act are in addition to any penalties associated with conviction of the underlying crime. Use of a Firearm While Committing a Felony (21 O.S. § 1287) is a felony punishable by 2 to 10 years in prison on the first offense and 10 to 30 years in prison on the second or subsequent offense. It seems that every week investigators with the ICAC task force make another arrest for distributing child pornography, soliciting minors online, or making lewd or indecent proposals to a minor. The anonymity of the internet is what gives certain individuals the bravado to solicit or engage in illicit activity; however, it is what also provides investigators the mask they need to pose as decoys and launch undercover investigations. If you have fallen into a dangerous legal predicament as a result of an online undercover sting, it is imperative that you find legal counsel at once. Call (405) 418-8888 for a free consultation or click here to submit a confidential online case review form.

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