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Solicitation Doesn't Pay

A New Jersey man convicted of planning a sexual liaison with a teen-age girl in a Fair Oaks hotel received a suspended sentence last week for sexually soliciting a minor via computer.

He is Joseph Osso, 43, of 232 Warren Ave., Fort Lee, N.J., and Fairfax County police arrested him Sept. 9, following a sting operation conducted by detectives in the Criminal Investigations Bureau.

He pleaded guilty before Judge Jonathan Thacher, Jan. 30, in Circuit Court, and Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Edward Nuttall detailed the case against him.

He said the crime occurred from July 9 through Sept. 7, 2001. Acting in an undercover capacity, Det. Lewis Barrickman of the county police Child Molestation Unit went online as a 13-year-old girl named Alex and waited, without sending messages, to be contacted.

Via AOL, he received a message from DonnaV1121, asking for Alex's age and physical description. "Donna said she was a 16-year-old girl," said Nuttall. "She told [Alex] about an older man who she wrestled with for money, and they also [talked] about sex."

Others, including someone named XJX-PonyBoy, also contacted her, but they all turned out to be Osso. Said Nuttall: "He said he wanted to go to a hotel with her and said he'd pay for various sex acts while she wore a bikini top and he was naked."

Knowing she was underage, said Nuttall, Osso also discussed her dominating him, and he arranged for her to come to Virginia. "He said he'd pay her $500 for performing these sex acts and told her he'd bring a camera," said the prosecutor.

But when Osso arrived, Sept. 9, for their tryst at a Fair Oaks Hotel, he was greeted, instead, by police. "In his pocket was $500 in cash," said Nuttall. "He admitted using all the screen names and said it didn't bother him that she was 13 when they first met."

Both attorneys had previously worked out a plea agreement and, last Friday in Circuit Court, Judge Thacher sentenced Osso accordingly. He sentenced him to five years in prison, suspending all of that time. He also placed Osso on five years active probation and ordered him to enter and complete all sex-offender treatments recommended by his probation officer.