DENVER (AP) — A convicted child molester from Georgia was wearing an ankle monitor but allowed to leave the state when he came to suburban Denver this month believing he would be meeting a teenage girl for sex, authorities said Tuesday.
James Lee Pierce, 51, who was charged with crimes including attempted sexual assault on a child, was registered as a sexual predator in Georgia, which requires him to wear the ankle monitor but puts no restrictions on his travel, said Lt. Mark Blanton of the Floyd County Sheriff’s Office in Georgia.
As a courtesy, Pierce called the sheriff’s office last week to say he would be taking a Greyhound bus out of town for a funeral and would not be able to charge his ankle monitor while en route, Blanton said.
Instead, Jefferson County prosecutors said, Pierce was headed to Denver believing he would be having sex with a teenage girl to whom he had been sending sexually explicit photos and messages for months. Thinking she was younger than 15, Pierce had discussed taking her back to Georgia with him, according to an arrest affidavit.
The girl was actually an undercover detective, and Pierce was arrested when he arrived at their meeting spot.
Pierce was convicted of aggravated child molestation in 1992 and sentenced to five years of confinement and 15 years of probation, according to court records. Blanton said he was no longer on restrictive probation, which meant the sheriff’s department did not need to make a note of his travel plans.
Blanton said the monitoring device served its purpose by letting authorities track Pierce throughout his trip. At one point, Pierce’s sister called deputies to say his batteries were dying.
“We looked and we could tell he was still out on the interstate,” Blanton said.
Pierce was in jail and documents don’t list an attorney for him.
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