Lawrence man accused of soliciting nude photos from teen convicted after plea deal
photo by: Douglas County Sheriff's Office
A Lawrence man accused of using social media to solicit nude photos from an underage girl was convicted Friday after agreeing to a plea deal with the Douglas County District Attorney’s Office.
Jared C. Spears, 28, pleaded no contest to one count of sexual exploitation of a child, which is a level-five felony. Spears was originally facing charges of electronic solicitation, a level-three felony, and stalking, a misdemeanor, the Journal-World previously reported.
Judge Sally Pokorny told Spears the conviction meant that he faced a minimum sentence of 31 months in prison. However, she said the level-five felony offense also allows for probation instead of prison time.
Spears is scheduled to be sentenced on Sept. 10. His attorney, Nicholas Hayes, mentioned that Spears would work to get his affairs in order before the hearing in preparation for possible incarceration.
According to an affidavit supporting the original charges, Spears was accused of contacting a 15-year-old girl via the social media app Snapchat to solicit nude photos.
The girl told her mother, and later police, that an adult man had added her as a friend on Snapchat and continued talking to her even after she told him how old she was and that it was not appropriate. The man reportedly said it was OK if they kept talking, if it was “consensual,” and asked her if she was a virgin. Spears later told the investigators that he did not recall the girl telling him how old she was.
Spears allegedly told the girl that he pays women for nude photos, but her response “triggered” him and made him mad.
“Jared said she ‘went off on me’ during a paragraph long rant of ‘how disgusting that was,'” Lawrence Police Detective Jamie Lawson wrote in the affidavit “… Jared said the following day, he may have sent her a message asking her if she wanted to have sex, to ‘get a rise out of her.'”
The girl told police she was scared when the man seemed to have pinpointed her exact location, even asking her about some of the features surrounding her house. Spears reportedly told investigators that the girl’s Snapchat was displaying her GPS location and he could see her whereabouts. He said he typed in the cross streets close to her and did it “just to scare her, because I was still mad,” according to the affidavit.
Lawson said in the affidavit that there was no dialogue in the Snapchat records that he was able to locate that indicated Spears was seeking nude photos of anyone under 18. Both Spears and the 15-year-old girl said they’d deleted their conversation and blocked each other, according to the affidavit.
Spears reportedly explained to investigators that, using Facebook and Snapchat, he’d “gotten away with” asking many women to send him nude photos, promising that he’d pay them — even offering up fake email testimonials he’d created himself to provide “legitimacy,” according to the affidavit — but never following through on that promise.
“He said it was a matter of ‘tricking’ and causing them disappointment, for revenge against women,” Lawson wrote.
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