Ken Paxton

Thursday, December 29, 2005

Attorney General Abbott's Cyber Crimes Unit Arrests Brenham Man Who Solicited Sex From A Minor

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit today arrested a Brenham man who used the Internet to solicit sex from someone he thought was a child. John David Payne, 27, was arrested in Bastrop when he showed up to meet the person he solicited online, who was actually an undercover Cyber Crimes investigator with the Attorney General’s office. It’s the second arrest in two weeks by the Attorney General’s Cyber Crimes Unit of someone who traveled for the purpose of having sex with an underage girl.

Child predators must be stopped and I will continue to pursue them to protect Texas children from harm, Attorney General Abbott said. We must do everything we can to halt child predators from stealing the innocence of our children. Our Cyber Crimes Unit will continue tracking down these dangerous individuals and putting them behind bars.

Payne, who is employed by the City of Brenham Water Department, arranged the meeting through an online chat room. Cyber Crimes investigators had been chatting with Payne online for nearly two months before he arranged for the meeting. Payne is charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child and is in the Bastrop County Jail.

There is no more important asset to the State of Texas than our children, said Abbott. We have arrested more than 360 child predators as part of our commitment to children and we will continue to search for those predators bent on harming Texas children.

Cracking down on sexual predators is a top priority of Attorney General Abbott’s administration. His Cyber Crimes and Fugitive units have arrested more than 360 sexual predators since he took office in December 2002. The Fugitive Unit, which locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children, has arrested 257 of these parolees. The Fugitive Unit has also arrested another 54 men and women in other operations. The Cyber Crimes Unit has made 71 arrests to date.