A 22-year-old University of Montana psychology major who allegedly began chatting online Tuesday with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl was arrested less than four hours later when he showed up for a meeting with a condom in his pocket.
Shinya Abe is charged with sexual abuse of children, a felony that carries a maximum punishment of 100 years or life in prison and a $10,000 fine.
Missoula Police Detective Chris Shermer, a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, said the conversation began at 3 p.m. Tuesday when he responded to an ad in Craigslist's casual encounters section.
The ad "indicated a man seeking a woman for a sexual encounter," according to an affidavit filed by Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jason Marks.
Shermer pretended to be a 14-year-old girl during the online conservation. Abe allegedly said that he was 22 and that he was fine with the girl's age.
"Ninety percent of the conversation was about sex," Shermer said.
"After an email and text message exchange, Abe indicated that he wanted to meet. He agreed to bring a condom," the affidavit said.
Shermer said Abe showed up at about 6:45 p.m. at a spot along South Higgins Avenue, where police arrested him.
Abe was released from the Missoula County jail Tuesday night.
Missoulian reporter Gwen Florio can be reached at 523-5268, firstname.lastname@example.org.