(STL.News) – A prior sex offender currently on parole supervision pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court today to a child exploitation crime punishable by at least 10 years and up to life in prison.
Larry Richard Dickerson, 56, attempted to coerce a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity.
According to court documents, in May 2020, officers with the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force were conducting undercover online chats to identify individuals who were attempting to solicit and engage in illegal sexual activity with minors.
An officer posing as a juvenile on a social media application received a message from Dickerson and the two became in regular contact. Dickerson requested nude photos of the purported teenager. In one instance, he asked her to send a shirtless picture with the name “Rick” written across her chest so that he could be sure she was not a “cop.”
In a phone call with the undercover officer, Dickerson asked numerous questions about the supposed 15-year-old’s sexual history and preferences. The defendant asked the undercover officer to describe what her pubic region looked like. The two made a plan to meet to engage in illicit sexual conduct.
Dickerson and the officer decided to meet first in public before going somewhere private to engage in sex. Law enforcement observed Dickerson arrive at the designated meeting place and he was subsequently arrested.
Dickerson has two prior child sex offense convictions. In 2002, he was sentenced to 21 months in prison in the District of South Carolina on a child pornography charge. In 2018, he was convicted in the Delaware County Court of Common Pleas with three counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, based on his communications with a 13-year-old girl via MeetMe, and his subsequent meeting with a sexual abuse of the child.
David M. DeVillers, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Franklin County Sheriff Dallas Baldwin and Franklin County ICAC partnering agencies announced the plea entered into today before U.S. District Judge Sarah D. Morrison. Assistant United States Attorney Heather A. Hill and Special Assistant United States Attorney Roger Dinh are representing the United States in this case.