Authorities say a Hanover area man posed as a lesbian in an online teenage chat room in an attempt to have sex with who he believed was a 14-year-old girl.
Kevin Michael Cool, 25, of the 200 block of South Street in Conewago Township, Adams County, was arrested at his home April 8 and charged with two counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a computer.
Cool contacted an undercover agent in a teen chat room in November 2007, identifying himself as a 24-year-old woman from the Hanover area, according to the attorney general's office. At that time, the agent was using the online profile of a 14-year-old girl, the attorney general's office said. The agent was a county detective with the Erie County district attorney's office assigned to the child abuse unit and computer crimes unit.
According to the criminal complaint, Cool initially claimed to be a lesbian and sent the girl several nude and sexually explicit photos of a woman.
At first, investigators thought they had an unusual case involving a woman, said Nils Frederiksen, deputy press secretary for the attorney general's office.
"We have not had an online woman predator ever," Frederiksen said. That's out of 135 arrests in child predator cases the attorney general office's child predator unit has made since January 2005.
Investigators later learned Cool was a man, he said. Still posing as a woman, Cool used the chat room and instant messages to introduce the woman's "brother," Kevin, who then sent the girl a nude photo of a man performing a sexual act upon himself, according to the attorney general's office. The man in the photo "strongly resembled" Cool, according to charging documents.
If convicted, Cool faces up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine for each offense. A preliminary hearing date has been tentatively set for 11 a.m. Thursday before Adams County District Justice Daniel Bowman. Cool remains in Adams County Prison in lieu of $75,000 bail.
State Attorney General Tom Corbett warns sexual predators are stalking a variety of online sites, including chat rooms, social networking Web sites such as MySpace and Facebook, Internet message boards, video-game sites and online classified ads on Craigslist.com
"Predators will always be drawn to locations that give them the greatest access to the largest number of potential victims," Corbett said.