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Victoria man charged with soliciting a minor via text messages

By LOURDES VAZQUEZ
March 29, 2010 at 6:03 p.m.
Updated March 28, 2010 at 10:29 p.m.

Richard Cole

A 47 year-old Victoria man was arrested early Sunday morning on suspicion of online solicitation of a minor.

Victoria Police Chief Bruce Ure said the parent of a 13-year-old girl contacted officers after they found the girl and Richard Cole, a laborer, were texting each other.

"After we were notified, we initiated a criminal investigation," Ure said. The content of the text messages made the communication a violation.

"He clearly expressed his deviant sexual behavior," the chief said.

Officers visited the family and were given the cell phone.

"We began to communicate with him posing as the juvenile," Ure said.

Officers obtained a search and arrest warrant for his home within 72 hours of starting the investigation.

"Detectives worked around the clock," the chief said.

Cole was arrested at 3 a.m. Sunday.

"We moved quickly because we don't know if he's communicating with other people," Ure said.

The girl and Cole had a common acquaintance, but Ure did not say who that is.

Cole remained in the Victoria County Jail on Monday in lieu of $100,000 bail.

Online solicitation of a minor is a second-degree felony. If found guilty, Cole could face up to 20 years in prison and would be required to register as a sex offender for 10 years after the sentence is completed.

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