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By Shawn Raymundo

A retired California Highway Patrol (CHP) lieutenant on Thursday, Dec. 13, was found guilty of attempting to commit unlawful sexual acts on a minor whom he had met over the Internet in 2006.

Stephen Robert Deck, 64, who at the time of the crime was assigned to the CHP office in San Juan Capistrano, struck up an online relationship with a 13-year-old girl he believed to be real.

According to the Orange County District Attorney’s Office, Deck had actually been engaging in explicit sexual conversations with “an adult citizen volunteer from a nonprofit organization aimed at protecting children from Internet sexual predators,” the DA’s office noted in a press release.

Deck’s online relationship with the fictitious 13-year-old began in February 2006. Deck and the woman posing as the minor had numerous conversations online and over the phone, the DA’s office said.

During those conversations, Deck had asked whether the girl liked older men and made lewd and “graphic sexual statements.” He also arranged to meet with the girl in Laguna Beach, according to the DA.

When Deck attempted to meet the girl in Laguna Beach, he was arrested as part of a sting operation, news files state.

Upon his arrest, Deck had a digital camera and key lime pie in his possession, and authorities found several condoms located in his vehicle, the DA’s office said.

The Dec. 13 conviction marks the second time an Orange County jury found Deck guilty in this case. He was originally convicted in December 2009 and sentenced to one year in county jail, five years of probation and lifetime sex offender registration, the DA noted.

The California Court of Appeals reaffirmed the 2009 conviction after Deck appealed the decision. But the case eventually made its way to the U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals, which issued a reversal, prompting the need for the recent retrial.

Because Deck had previously served his one-year prison sentence, he was “immediately re-sentenced with credit for time served, including the re-imposition of sex offender registration,” according to the DA.

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