29-year-old tricked by deputies; arrested for internet luring of a child, attempted sexual assault

CENTENNIAL, Colo. - A Colorado Springs man accused of trying to meet up and have sex with a 14-year-old girl was tricked by investigators, who say they gathered enough evidence to arrest him before he had a chance to try to meet up.

The girl actually did not exist. She was just a fake profile created by an investigative team at the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.

Joshua Cory Theys, 29, of Colorado Springs, allegedly chatted online with the investigator posing as a young girl during January and February. In the conversations, Theys "described explicit sexual conduct and detailed how he wanted to engage in sexual intercourse with the 14-year-old," according to a statement released by the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office.

Theys planned to travel to Centennial to meet with the girl for the explicit purpose of having sex with her. Investigators were able to identify Theys before the meetup was supposed to occur, which Captain Larry Etheridge says is not always possible in cases like this.

"Based on some of the conversations and chats, and because we already had him identified, we made the decision to go ahead and arrest him," Etheridge said. "There are many cases where we don't know the identity up front, so we have to wait for them to meet up in person."

The team seized Theys' personal computer and cell phone during the arrest. Data on both devices including text messages have been found but Etheridge could not say if they will be used as evidence. He was also not able to confirm or deny if investigators found indications that Theys was speaking to other children besides the fake 14-year-old. No chat transcripts from the investigation have been released.

Theys was booked on charges of internet luring of a child and attempted sexual assault on a child. He posted $50,000 bail and was released from the Arapahoe County Sheriff's Office detention facility on Thursday evening.

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