Thursday, March 29, 2007

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Brenham Man Arrested Twice by Cyber Crimes Unit Pleads Guilty, Receives 10-Year Prison Sentence

BASTROP – A former Brenham Water Department employee was sentenced to 10 years in prison for using the Internet to solicit a child for sex. In a case prosecuted by Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott’s Cyber Crimes Unit, John David Payne, 28, pleaded guilty Wednesday in Bastrop County District Court to one count of attempted sexual performance by a child, a third-degree felony.

The sentence handed down today will run concurrent with a 12-year sentence he received in February 2007 in Washington County. Payne pled guilty to criminal online solicitation of a minor in that related case.

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John David Payne
John David Payne
Cyber Crimes Unit arrest of John David Payne
Video of Payne's Dec. 29, 2005, arrest

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“Texans will not tolerate criminals who prey upon our children,” Attorney General Abbott said. “Twice arrested for preying on children, this offender is a prime example of the dangerous, incorrigible nature of these predators. Our Cyber Crimes Unit will continue its aggressive crackdown on criminals who target young Texans. We are grateful to Bastrop County District Attorney Bryan Goertz for his assistance with this case.”

Cyber Crimes Unit officers arrested Payne in December 2005 after he traveled from Brenham to Bastrop to meet a child he solicited for sex. When he arrived, Payne discovered the “child” was a Cyber Crimes Unit investigator posing as an underage girl.

While Payne was out on bond in the Bastrop County case, Cyber Crimes Unit officers arrested him again for propositioning an undercover investigator in a MySpace.com chat room. Payne was charged with online solicitation of a minor.

Attorney General Abbott’s top priority is protecting children. His Cyber Crimes and Fugitive units have arrested more than 500 sexual predators since he took office in December 2002. The Fugitive Unit locates convicted child sex offenders who have violated the terms of their parole and could be stalking children.