Man Charged with Solicitation
After communicating with an undercover police officer online, a Fairfax County Public Schools employee was charged with computer solicitation of a child under the age of 15. The officer, posing as a 14 year-old boy, placed an ad on Craigslist and later sent a photo of a 23-year-old male that appeared to look like an older teenager. The conversations occurred over the course of nine days and remained solely online. The officer attempted to secure a meeting multiple times but the defendant declined meeting.
Thomas Walsh (criminal lawyer Fairfax VA) was able to negotiate a charge, avoiding a mandatory jail sentence, while entering an Alford plea on his client’s behalf. Mr. Walsh then asked the court to adhere to the sentencing guidelines for this offense, which called for probation. The prosecution sought incarceration on the basis that the defendant worked in the school system at the time of the offense but Walsh asked the Court to consider that his client’s career essentially ended the day he was arrested, and asked the court to factor that in when calculating his punishment.
Mr. Walsh’s client received a two-year suspended prison sentence.