Columbia Man Sentenced for Enticing a Minor for Illicit Sex

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JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. – A Columbia, Missouri, man was sentenced in federal court today for attempting to meet a law enforcement officer, posing online as a 14-year-old girl, for illegal sexual activity.

Darren Wade Lasley, 33, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Brian C. Wimes to 10 years in federal prison without parole.

 On Aug. 18, 2021, Lasley was found guilty at trial of attempting to entice a minor to engage in illegal sexual activity.

On June 14, 2017, Lasley responded by email to an online classified advertisement on Craigslist, which was placed as part of an undercover operation by a detective in the Boone County Sheriff’s Department Cyber Crimes Task Force posing as a 14-year-old girl. In a series of email exchanges over the course of the next several days, Lasley described his plans for a sexual encounter with the decoy. Lasley proposed visiting her residence while her mother was at work or out of town.

On June 21, 2017, Lasley asked in an email if the decoy could sneak out of her house to meet him for a sexual rendezvous. Lasley was arrested when he arrived at the arranged location.

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This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Ashley S. Turner and Aaron M. Maness. It was investigated by the Boone County, Mo., Sheriff’s Department and the FBI.

Project Safe Childhood

This case was brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by the United States Attorneys’ Offices and the Criminal Division’s Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section, Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state, and local resources to locate, apprehend, and prosecute individuals who sexually exploit children, and to identify and rescue victims. For more information about Project Safe Childhood, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc . For more information about Internet safety education, please visit www.usdoj.gov/psc and click on the tab “resources.”

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