Cyber Crimes Unit Says Suspect Wanted Sex with Child
JEFFERSON CITY - A man accused of setting up payment to have sex with a young girl was charged with multiple sexual offenses, including attempted statutory rape.
29-year-old Jeremy Bappert was arrested Thursday after an undercover operation by the Cyber Crimes Task Force of the Boone County Sheriff's Department.
Investigators said a cell phone seized at the time featured pornography of children possibly of as young as toddlers.
Other charges against Bappert include distribution of child pornography, the possession of child pornography, attempted statutory sodomy, and a felony offense of patronizing prostitution.
According to a press release, a tip from a local resident prompted the investigation during the the first week of July. Investigators were told Bappert was allegedly offering money to have sexual contact with a young child.
Cyber Crimes Task Force investigators began the sting operation by having someone pose as the mother of a child who would allow sexual contact with the child for money.
Bappert allegedly tried to negotiate payment for service over the next few weeks. Investigators said he also sent pornographic pictures of a 9-year-old girl to the decoy mother, in an attempt to gain trust.
Investigators said arrangements were made for Bappert to meet the decoy mother at a specific Columbia location Thursday morning. Investigators said Bappert planned to give the woman the agreed upon payment.
Bappert was arrested at the arranged meeting site. The cell phone seized allegedly contained more than 20 photographs of child pornography.
Bappert was in the Boone County Jail waiting on formal charges to be filed by the Boone County Prosecuting Attorney's Office. A bond was not immediately set.