Pa. cops stage Internet sex crime sting

HARRISBURG (AP) -- The state needs to hire more undercover agents to police Internet sex crimes, state Attorney General Tom Corbett said Tuesday as he announced the arrests of seven men accused of trying to arrange sexual encounters with children.
In a sting operation involving the attorney general's child-predator unit and Susquehanna Township police, undercover agents posing as teenage or preteen girls responded to solicitations from the men, all from different Pennsylvania counties.
Meetings were arranged in most of the cases, usually near a fast-food restaurant in Dauphin County, and the men were arrested when they arrived.
Each defendant was charged with felony counts of criminal attempt of unlawful contact with a minor, which carries a maximum 20-year prison term, and criminal use of a communication facility, punishable by up to seven years, said Kevin Harley, Corbett's spokesman.
In the state budget for the year that starts Friday, which lawmakers are currently negotiating, Corbett requested $1 million a year to hire 10 additional people in the child-predator unit.
Copyright 2005 Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.

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