TACOMA, WA – Today the Pierce County Prosecutor’s Office charged Paul Hobgood, 56, Gregory Harrison, 34, and Daniel Moody, Jr., 35, with attempted rape of a child in the first degree. All three men answered ads online and spoke with an undercover agent they believed was a mother offering her early teen and pre-teen children for sex.
“Protecting the vulnerable, especially children, is a top priority for our office,” said Prosecutor Mark Lindquist. “These sting operations protect our community by holding offenders accountable and sending a strong message.”
In late April, the Washington State Patrol’s Missing and Exploited Children’s Task Force conducted a multi-day operation that targeted individuals who sought to sexually exploit children.
Undercover law enforcement officers communicated on the internet through various websites, using chat rooms and various messaging and texting applications. The operation generated hundreds of responses.
Undercover officers elicited details of the sexual activity the man desired with the children. Those who followed through and agreed to meet the officers, believing they were a mother and her children, were arrested at the meeting point.
These new defendants bring the number of men arrested in this sting to 15, and the State Patrol says more stings are expected.
This is the 7th operation in the state since 2015. The “Net Nanny” series has netted a total of 84 arrests and rescued 21 identified victims throughout the state thanks to the WSP Missing and Exploited Children Task Force. Washington State Patrol spearheads the multi-agency operation that includes partners in federal, state, and local law enforcement.
Bail for all three defendants is set at $500,000.00.
Charges are only allegations and a person is presumed innocent unless he or she is proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
For more information, please contact James Lynch at (253) 798-6265, [email protected].