Police Nab Gringo Charged In Internet Sex Sting

February 29, 2008

Agents from Interpol and Costa Rica’s Immigration Police arrested Lonnie Ted Crabtree, 41, a U.S. citizen wanted for attempted sexual abuse of a 15-year-old minor in the state of Kentucky.

The arrest was made on Feb. 15 when Crabtree was traveling by bus from the Pacific port town of Puntarenas to San José, a press release states.

The specific charges against Crabtree, originally from Michigan, include importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and attempted compelling prostitution.

Crabtree was living in Cobano, Puntarenas province, with his wife and five children and taught English and martial arts classes to minors, authorities said.

The Web site America’s Most Wanted, an organization that focuses on helping law enforcement authorities catch criminals, claimed an anonymous tip to their offices led to Crabtree’s arrest.

The Web site said the 15-year-old girl, named “Brooke,” that Crabtree thought he was soliciting for $130 per hour over the Internet was actually a detective.

“Crabtree then sent ‘Brooke’ a picture of himself, and asked if they could meet that day to engage in sexual intercourse,” the Web site states. “He even offered to pay her $130 an hour since she was a virgin.

‘Brooke’ agreed to meet him at a local fast food restaurant. Much to his horror, when he arrived at the restaurant, he found not a 15-year-old girl, but a group of detectives awaiting his arrival.”

Authorities said they plan to extradite Crabtree to face charges in the United States.

 

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