Ken Paxton

Thursday, June 19, 2003

Lampasas Man Indicted For Seeking Encounter With Child In Austin

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott today announced an indictment against a Lampasas man who attempted to set up an alleged sexual encounter with what he thought was a 13-year-old girl he had met online. Investigators with Attorney General Abbott's Internet Bureau arrested 27-year-old James Steven Thornton, Jr., on May 10 for Criminal Solicitation of a Minor.

A Lampasas County grand jury returned the indictment against Thornton, charging him with Criminal Solicitation of a Minor to engage in Aggravated Sexual Assault, which is a second-degree felony. Because of his criminal history, Thornton faces from 25 to 99 years in prison if convicted. This is the first such indictment the attorney general's office has obtained in its effort to prosecute these predators who prey on children via Internet chat rooms.

"Cyber criminals who prey on children, our most innocent citizens, will learn the hard way that their actions will be prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law," Attorney General Abbott said. "The Internet Bureau is ready to assist prosecutors and law enforcement agencies statewide in making examples of these individuals."

Attorney General Abbott's Internet Bureau is designed primarily to catch Internet predators and those who engage in crimes involving child pornography. In addition to being a resource for prosecuting high-tech crimes, the bureau also provides training to law enforcement personnel who pursue online criminals.

View the Indictment
Photo of Thornton