Louisa man who solicited sex from minor had gun, rope in car

Louisa man who solicited sex from minor had gun, rope in car

LOUISA, VA (WWBT) - A former Culpeper County Sheriff's Office dispatcher is heading to prison after being sentenced for two counts of solicitation of a minor.

Ray Lester, 29, was arrested on January 5 during a sting operation conducted by the Louisa County Sheriff's Office, Albemarle Police Department and the SOVA Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

Authorities say Lester attempted to contact a 14-year-old through email and solicited sex acts on multiple occasions. The two agreed to meet near her home, but when Lester tried to "scout out the agreed location from a nearby vantage point," he instead met with members of the Task Force.

After the arrest, authorities searched his vehicle and found "a .40 semi-automatic pistol with 13 rounds in the driver's side door and a recently cut six-foot rope on the center console."

"Mr. Lester's behavior highlights the danger that children face in cyberspace today," said Louisa Commonwealth's Attorney Rusty McGuire. "Not only are predators trying to exploit our children, this one showed up with a gun and rope. We are lucky that the child happened to be an undercover ICAC officer."

Lester was sentenced to 20 years in prison with 10 years suspended.

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