Friday, June 13, 2003

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Attorney General Abbott's Internet Bureau Arrest Austin Man Seeking Child Encounter In San Marcos

AUSTIN--Texas Attorney General Greg Abbott's Texas Internet Bureau officers today arrested a North Austin man in San Marcos who attempted to set up an alleged sexual encounter with what he thought to be a 13-year-old girl.

Srinath Audityan, 29, was arrested without incident as he arrived for the rendezvous with the "girl" whom he had met in an Internet chat room. The girl turned out to be an undercover Internet Bureau investigator, who had conversed with the subject over a four-day period leading up to his trip to San Marcos.

Audityan has been booked into the Hays County Jail and charged with attempted aggravated sexual assault of a child. Hays County Sheriff's Department officers assisted in the arrest.

"Child sex predators are among the most heinous of offenders, and our Internet Bureau has pledged to work with local law enforcement officials to stop these actors before such assaults can take place," said Attorney General Abbott. "These officers should be praised for the difficult job they do in protecting our children."

Officers arrested Audityan off I-35 and the Luling exit in San Marcos as he arrived at a prearranged meeting place. He is an engineer employed by Motorola.

Internet Bureau officers made a similar arrest May 10 in Bee Cave near Austin. James Steven Thornton Jr. of Lampasas was charged with criminal solicitation of a minor.

Photo of Audityan