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Man Pleads Guilty in Cyberspace Sex Case

October 31, 1998|TRACY WILSON

Ending the county's first cyberspace sex case, an Oak View man pleaded guilty Friday to charges of attempted child molestation and pandering, after authorities caught him trying to buy sex with a fictitious 13-year-old girl over the Internet.

David P. Hensley, a 37-year-old publishing company employee, faces up to nine years in state prison for the two felony charges. He is not eligible for probation because pandering carries a mandatory prison sentence.

Ventura County sheriff's deputies began investigating Hensley when he responded to a personal ad posted by authorities on America Online. It offered sex with minors.

After months of e-mail and telephone conversations with an undercover investigator, Hensley agreed to pay $350 to perform various sexual acts with a fictitious girl.

Hensley made the transaction at a Camarillo restaurant. He was arrested immediately afterward at a nearby hotel room where he was told the girl would be waiting.

In an interview with deputies, Hensley claimed he was simply trying to determine if the deal was for real, and planned to notify authorities afterward.

Authorities noted, however, that Hensley was carrying two condoms at the time of his arrest.

Hensley is married and has no criminal record.

A sentencing hearing is set for Jan. 4.

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