St. Croix Man Who Brought ‘Condoms And Cash’ To Child Sex Trafficking Sting Pleads Guilty In Federal Court
CHRISTIANSTED — A St. Croix man who thought he was meeting a teenage girl to have sex last summer, pleaded guilty in federal court today to trying to have illegal sexual activity.
Rashead Gerard, 23, of St. Croix, pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge George Cannon, Jr., to attempted coercion and enticement for illegal sexual activity, U.S. Attorney Gretchen C.F. Shappert said.
According to the plea agreement filed with the court, on or about August 12, 2019, Gerard responded to an ad posted online.
A U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agent posed as the father of a female minor, who was looking for a tour guide to show her around for an hour or two.
Gerard asked the “father” what the girl wanted to do and the agent replied “anything that you’re up for.”
The agent told Gerard that the minor was 14 and the defendant told the agent he would pay for 30 minutes to engage in sexual activity with the minor. They agreed to meet at the Fort Frederik in Frederiksted about 5:30 p.m.
Gerard was arrested when he went to the agreed-upon location and condoms and money were found in his car.
He faces a maximum sentence of 20 years and a $250,000 fine.
Sentencing is scheduled for February 12, 2021.
“??? Not saying he’s NOT guilty … but don’t most men carry a condom (or two) and cash in their wallets?????” Jan Buttler said on Facebook.
The case was investigated by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Rhonda Williams-Henry.