JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. - A Georgia child molester was still wearing an ankle monitor when he traveled to Colorado, allegedly believing he was going to have sex with an underage girl, CALL7 Investigator Theresa Marchetta has learned.
Instead, 51-year-old James Lee Pierce was caught in an undercover sting operation in Jefferson County.
First Judicial District Attorney's Office investigators arrested Pierce on Thursday after a nearly four-month investigation.
Marchetta reports that Pierce was wearing the ankle monitor because he was on probation for a prior child sex conviction, but Georgia law allowed Pierce to travel out of the state.
On Dec 31, 2013, Pierce first contacted an investigator with the DA’s Child Sex Offender Internet Investigations Unit, who was posing as a girl under age 15 on a social networking website.
Using the screen name "scrapbuckit," Pierce sent an instant message to the investigator's teen persona, asking "do you like older guys"? "I like young girls like you," according to an arrest affidavit.
The investigator checked scraupbuckit's online profile and found it was for a 50-year-old man from Georgia.
On New Year's Day, scrapbuckit asked the teen persona, "are you still a virgin"? and "your [sic] sexy angel I would love to make love to you" and "send me a pix to my email of you naked," according to the affidavit.
Pierce also provided an email address that used his real name, along with his cellphone number.
Pierce wrote that he was thrilled that the girl was underage, "I always like young girls" and "i dont [sic] care if its against the law," the affidavit stated. "you [sic] the only [juvenile girl] that didnt think I ws a perv," he allegedly texted.
Soon, scrapbuckit was sending naked photos of himself to the investigator and repeatedly asking the fake teen to send him nude photos of herself, the affidavit stated.
He texted about how he'd borrowed money from a relative to pay for a roundtrip Greyhound bus ticket to Denver and planned to take the girl back to Georgia with him. "I am planning on keeping you," he texted, according to the affidavit.
During phone conversations with Pierce, a DA's female investigator would pretend to be the underage teen. Pierce even had his sister talk on the phone with the investigator playing the teen girl, but he first warned the teen persona to tell his sister she was 18 years old.
On March 15, scrapbuckit texted that when he reached Colorado, "We will celebrate with pizza and all night sex," adding more lurid descriptions of what they would do.
Pierce arrived in Denver by bus on Thursday. All he found waiting for him when he reached Jefferson County was an adult DA's investigator with a pair of handcuffs.
Investigators checked Pierce's background and found he'd been arrested in 1991 for rape, sodomy and child molestation in Georgia. He was convicted of aggravated child molestation in 1992 and sentenced to five years in prison and 15 years of probation.
Investigators also learned that Pierce had violated probation in 2006 and 2012 and failed to register as a sex offender in 2007.
First Judicial District Attorney's Internet investigations unit has made more than 700 arrests since it was created in 1996, said district attorney spokeswoman Pam Russell.