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Electronic Soliciting: 6 Months in Jail

Chantilly man chats online with "teen" for over a year.

A 54-year-old Chantilly man who hoped to have sex with a 13-year-old Centreville girl has been sentenced to six months in jail. He is Michael A. Proseus of 13458 Stream Valley Drive.

He had met the teen over the Internet, chatting with her online for nearly a year. But when the time came for them to meet, he learned — much to his dismay — that the sweet, young thing he'd planned to photograph nude, and then have his way with, was really an undercover police detective.

A MEMBER of the Fairfax County Police Department's Child Exploitation Unit, Det. Lewis Barrickman had encountered Proseus while working online in an attempt to nab sexual predators. And in a Jan. 6 affidavit for a warrant to search the man's Chantilly home for possible evidence of electronic solicitation of a minor, he presented details of the case against Proseus.

Barrickman wrote that, while he was posing as the teen-ager, he was contacted via instant message by someone using the screen name "Wwnsong4u" and identifying himself as an older male from Northern Virginia. "I informed him that I was a 13-year-old female from Centreville, Va.," wrote Barrickman.

The detective stated that their instant-message conversations ran from Feb. 12, 2004 until Jan. 6, 2005, and that the man said his name was Mike. He wrote that Mike also sent him several e-mail photos that he said were of himself.

"During the conversations, the suspect solicited the 13-year-old female to meet him," wrote Barrickman. "He also stated that, during the meeting, he wanted the [girl] to masturbate while he watched, and [he] further stated he wanted to perform oral sodomy on her. The suspect stated that, after [he did so], she would be willing to have sexual intercourse with him."

"The [teen] responded by saying she didn't wish to get pregnant," continued the detective. "The suspect stated that ... she didn't have to worry." Then on Nov. 23, 2004, Det. Lee Cyr of the police department in Fairborn, Ohio, contacted Barrickman.

"He stated that he had been working undercover online, posing as a young female," explained Barrickman. "He stated that a subject using the screen name 'Wwnsong4u' had been chatting online with him and had sent him several pictures of child pornography. Det. Cyr stated that he sent a court order to AOL [regarding] the master account owner. AOL notified him that the subject's name was Michael Proseus of 13458 Stream Valley Drive, Chantilly, Va."

BARRICKMAN WROTE that, via instant message on Jan. 4, he and Proseus set up a meeting for Jan. 6 at a Centreville shopping center. "They would then travel via his vehicle to a yet-to-be-determined location," wrote the detective. "The female would then pose nude for the suspect to take digital pictures. She would be expected to masturbate in front of the suspect. He would then perform oral sodomy on her, which he believed would lead to sexual intercourse."

Much to his surprise, however, when Proseus arrived at the meeting place, he was greeted by police with handcuffs and taken into custody. "During a search of his person, a condom was located in his front shirt pocket," wrote Barrickman. "Proseus informed detectives that he was the person talking to the minor and had solicited several sexual acts from her. He also stated he had discussed taking nude photographs of [her]. Proseus went on to state that he had images of child pornography on his home computer."

Four hours later, Barrickman executed the search warrant at Proseus' home. Police seized a Dell computer and a camera docking stand and charged Proseus with using a communications system to facilitate certain offenses involving children.

He pleaded guilty, June 20, in Circuit Court, and returned Aug. 5 for sentencing. At that time, Judge David Stitt sentenced Proseus to five years in prison, suspending all but six months. He also placed the Chantilly man on four years probation following his release and ordered him to undergo sex-offender treatment.