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Internet seduction attempt results in prison sentence

Wednesday, January 09, 2002

By Torsten Ove, Post-Gazette Staff Writer

Federal agents call them "travelers."

They're adults, almost always men, who strike up friendships on the Internet with children, gain their trust, then travel to pick them up for sex.

That's what a 47-year-old Michigan man was trying to do with a 14-year-old girl from Duquesne he met earlier this year in a chatroom called "Teen Flirt."

William Conrad Bayer never fulfilled his fantasy, however, because when the online banter between Bayer and the girl developed into phone sex, federal agents were listening in to all the graphic details.

Yesterday in U.S. District Court, Bayer was sentenced to 13 months in prison for inducing a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.

U.S. District Judge William Standish also ordered Bayer, of Monroe, Mich., to forfeit his computer and register as a sex offender.

From April to July 27, Bayer used the Internet, the mail and the phone to carry on illicit sexual conversations with the girl, repeatedly telling her he loved her and planned to travel to Pittsburgh to pick her up and take her home to Michigan for sex.

In this case, the girl's mother found out what was going on and intervened. She had noticed her daughter online for long periods of time during the week of April 20. She also opened a "love letter" sent from Michigan in which Bayer called the girl his "princess" and said he "cannot wait until I can hold you in my arms."

Bayer, who represented himself as a 19-year-old who worked in law enforcement, also left a sexually explicit voice-message on the girl's pager.

The girl's mother called the police in Duquesne, who contacted the Crimes Against Children Task Force, a team of federal, state and local law enforcement officers.

U.S. Postal Inspector Tom Clinton and his FBI partner, Denise Valentine, interviewed the mother and daughter, and the girl agreed to cooperate in a sting of sorts. Between June 5 and July 23, she continued to talk to Bayer on the phone while the agents listened to him describe in graphic detail his sexual fantasies about her.

When he told her in July he planned to travel to Pittsburgh later that month, agents arrested him.

Bayer, a private security guard with two teen-age sons, pleaded guilty in September.

In another sex-related case yesterday, a convicted sex offender from Lawrenceville who was about to go on trial pleaded guilty to receipt and possession of child pornography.

Roger Millspaugh, 52, of Warenberg Way, had gotten out of state prison in the spring of 1999 after serving a term for a sex offense involving children. As a convicted sex offender, he was required to tell authorities his address under the Megan's Law statute. He didn't, so on June 10, 1999, police arrested him at his apartment.

During the arrest, police found a bag containing five pictures of child pornography downloaded from a computer. They also found a fictional story he had written about a sexual encounter with a 6-year-old.

Millspaugh is currently serving a state term for the Megan's Law violation. He will be sentenced in federal court on March 29 on the child porn counts.

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