Tuesday, August 26, 2003

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Attorney General Abbott's Internet Bureau Gets Three More Arrests In Hays County

AUSTIN - Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's Internet Bureau has tracked down and arrested three more suspected child predators in Hays County in a little over a week. The men made road trips to meet what they believed to be 13-year-old "girls" for sex.


(Ramos, Kilpatrick, McDaniel)

The girls in question were actually Internet Bureau investigators. The men allegedly made contact with them in online teen chat rooms and enticed them into prearranged meetings at locations near I-35.

The men all have computer industry or telecommunications backgrounds. Phillip Joel Ramos, 30, a Verizon Wireless employee from Austin, was arrested at 2 p.m. Monday. Michael Edward Kilpatrick, 46, of Houston, was arrested Saturday, August16. He is a technical engineer for Hewlett-Packard. Michael A. McDaniel, 43, of Pflugerville, arrested Thursday, August 14, is a former Dell Computer employee.

"This willingness on the part of some adults to set up sexual rendezvous with children deeply offends the sensibilities of average citizens and parents," said Attorney General Abbott. "That's why I am taking great strides to see that the Internet Bureau, with the resources available to us, takes as many of these predators off the street as possible."

Ramos and Kilpatrick were charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault of a minor, while McDaniel was charged with criminal solicitation of a minor. Both are second-degree felonies. Bonds for Ramos and McDaniel were set at $150,000, while the bond amount for Kilpatrick was set at $250,000.

Kilpatrick allegedly booked a hotel room on Ben White Boulevard in Austin, then drove south into Hays County to meet the child.

These arrests bring to 14 the total number of suspects taken into custody since May for attempted meetings with children. The Internet Bureau obtained Hays County grand jury indictments against six of these men on August 7. They await trial.

The Internet Bureau is funded by a grant from Gov. Rick Perry's Criminal Justice Division.