Upon prompting from a blog commentator, I did some more checking into the background of Eric Paul Worth, 25, who was arrested last month on charges of computer child pornography and Internet stalking of a child.
Though Worth was busted this time, as it turns out he’s been charged before for similar crimes and eluded actual jail time based on an appeal that there wasn’t substantial evidence to prove he was trying to initiate sex with two 14-year-old girls.
As a 21-year-old in 2007, Worth made contact with a Sheridan police officer posing as 14-year-old “Cheryl Kidd” in an online chat room. According to an opposing opinion written by Judge John B. Robbins, Worth inquired about her sex and age.
“A conversation followed wherein Mr. Worth made sexually explicit comments, which included asking ‘Cheryl’ if she wanted to lose her virginity,” stated the opinion.
Cheryl later said she and a friend, “Bree,” would have sex with him and gave him an address to meet in a few days.
“On Jan. 15, 2007, after 32 failed attempts, Mr. Worth again made contact with ‘Cheryl’ on the Internet to set up what he thought was going to be a threesome with the two girls,” according to the opinion.
Worth drove to the residence in Sheridan and was arrested upon arrival. Police searched his vehicle and found a quantity of condoms and a loaded pistol.
“During his interview with the police, Mr. Worth admitted that had had driven to Sheridan with the intention of having sex with two 14-year-old girls,” stated the opinion.
More than a year later, Worth was convicted by a jury of two counts of Internet stalking of a child and was subsequently sentenced to two consecutive eight-year prison terms. However, during an appeal he argued that the state hadn’t sufficiently proved that he had actual knowledge of the victim’s age.
He now sits in Union County Jail while his case makes its way through the system a second time for, hopefully, a different outcome.