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Missouri Sex Offender Caught In Online Net Pleads Guilty To 2 Federal Charges

CHRISTIANSTED — A Missouri man who used gay porn app Grindr to try to prey on underage boys in St. Croix pleaded guilty to two federal charges in Golden Rock today.

Robert Black, 49, of Kansas City, appeared before Magistrate Judge George W. Cannon in U.S. District Court and entered a guilty plea to the charges of attempted coercion and enticement and failure to register as a sex offender.

Sentencing is set for February 19, 2021.

According to court documents, U.S. Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) initiated a law enforcement operation investigating online predators seeking to exploit children in St. Croix.

Agents working online in an undercover capacity created personas in online forums and applications designed to facilitate interactions between individuals.

On August 12, 2019, Black initiated contact with an undercover agent on the application Grindr by sending a picture of his naked torso and another of his genitals.

A dialogue ensured during which the undercover agent stated that he was 14 years old. Later the defendant discussed the sexual activity that he
wished to participate in with the undercover agent.

A meet was arranged for August 16, 2019, at which time Black was arrested on the Boardwalk in Christiansted.

Black is a convicted sex offender from Missouri who failed to register locally when he moved to the Virgin Islands in 2018.

In 2000, he was convicted in Missouri of Statutory Sodomy in the 2nd degree.

As a result of this conviction, he was classified as a Tier 3 Offender who must register every 90 days for his lifetime under the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act.

Black has a parole violation warrant from Missouri for a sex offender registration violation and has an outstanding methamphetamine trafficking parole violation warrant from Georgia.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Daniel Huston.

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The Author

John McCarthy

John McCarthy

John McCarthy is primarily known for his investigative reporting on the U.S. Virgin Islands. A series of reports beginning in the 1990's revealed that there was everything from coliform bacteria to Cryptosporidium in locally-bottled St. Croix drinking water, according to a then-unpublished University of the Virgin Islands sampling. Another report, following Hurricane Hugo in 1989, cited a Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) confidential overview that said that over 40 percent of the U.S. Virgin Islands public lives below the poverty line. The Virgin Islands Free Press is the only Caribbean news source to regularly incorporate the findings of U.S. Freedom of Information Act requests. John's articles have appeared in the BVI Beacon, St. Croix Avis, San Juan Star and Virgin Islands Daily News. He is the former news director of WSVI-TV Channel 8 on St. Croix.

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