Archive for Sunday, July 16, 2000

Psychological testing ordered in Internet case

July 16, 2000


A former Kansas University student who asked a 12-year-old Lawrence girl he met on the Internet for sex pleaded no contest to a misdemeanor charge Wednesday.

Marconi Lopez, 22, pleaded no contest to one count of endangering a child. He had been charged with a felony count of aggravated indecent solicitation of a child.

The misdemeanor carries a maximum sentence of 12 months in jail and a $2,500 fine. Sentencing was set for Sept. 8.

Douglas County District Judge Paula Martin ordered Lopez to undergo psychological evaluation from Bert Nash Community Mental Health Center before sentencing.

Lopez was arrested in May following three weeks in April during which he communicated with the girl in e-mails, instant messages and phone calls. At one point, according to testimony, the talk turned to sex.

At a May 25 preliminary hearing, the girl said she never met the person who asked her to have sex but said the two exchanged pictures by e-mail. She testified Lopez was the man in the picture she received.

Though some messages suggested the sexual solicitations were in jest, she said, "I thought they were serious."

At the same hearing, KU Det. Mike Riner testified Lopez used computer labs on campus to communicate with the girl.

"He told me the e-mails were originally about friendship, but at some point that changed and they talked about sex," Riner said.

Lopez knew the girl's age, Riner testified, but persisted with the solicitation.

"He said as time went on it was harder to resist the fantasy," Riner said. "I asked him point blank if she had come to his apartment ... if he would've had sex with her. He said yes."

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