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Man pleads guilty to soliciting 'girl' online

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By Calen McKinney

 

A Campbellsville man has pleaded guilty and will serve jail time for soliciting who he believed to be a 15-year-old girl on Facebook for sex.

Brandon Swanson, 30, of 450 Greenbriar Drive, was indicted in September 2012 and charged with attempted unlawful illegal sex act with someone younger than 16 and unlawful use of an electronic system to induce a minor to engage in sexual or other prohibited activities.

According to a Taylor County Sheriff's Office report, Swanson was arrested after he arrived at a pre-arranged location in Campbellsville, where he thought he was to meet a 15-year-old girl he communicated with through Facebook for sex. The minor was actually a Taylor County Sheriff's deputy conducting an ongoing effort to combat Internet crimes against children.

On Tuesday, Swanson appeared before Taylor Circuit Court Judge Dan Kelly and pleaded guilty to an amended charge of sexual misconduct. The electronic system charge was dismissed.

In exchange for his plea, Swanson was sentenced to serve 90 days in jail, to be completed at a later date, and pay $250 in restitution to the Taylor County Sheriff's Office.

According to court records, Swanson communicated with the "girl" on several occasions between Feb. 16 and July 9, 2012. Many of the conversations were via Facebook and text messaging.

The first message he sent, records state, stated "ur cute. Have we met?"

As the conversations continued, court records state, the conversations between the two became sexually explicit. At the time of Swanson's arrest, he was found with a package of condoms and a cell phone containing messages to the "girl."

Taylor County Sheriff's Detective Brian Pickard investigated the case against Swanson.

In an interview with police, Swanson told officers he knew what he was doing was wrong, but didn't know why he took it so far.

An attorney from Commonwealth's Attorney Terry Geoghegan's office in Bardstown was appointed to prosecute the case. Greensburg attorney Danny Butler represented Swanson.

If found guilty by a jury, Swanson could have been sentenced to as much as 25 years in prison.