Three Men Arrested In Internet Sex Sting


The first of three Valley men arrested by Gila County Sheriff's investigators in an Internet sex sting will be sentenced in Globe next week.

Keith Wilkins, 28, who pleaded guilty to attempted sexual conduct with a minor, will be sentenced at 4 p.m. Monday in Gila County Superior Court.

Wilkins, a Phoenix resident, was one of dozens of men who contacted an Internet chat-room participant listed as a 13-year-old girl, Gila County Attorney Jim Hazel said.

The initial contacts were followed by a flood of pornography, he said. These men send pornography as a form of conditioning. If their target doesn't log off, they assume they're interested, he said.

Wilkins set up a meeting with Gila County Sheriff's Sgt. Tom Rasmussen, who was posing as the 13-year-old, and drove to Globe to have sex with the fictional teen where he was arrested instead.

Two other suspects arrested in the sting are scheduled for pretrial hearings this month; the first, a 45-year-old man, will appear in court July 23 and the second, a 23-year-old man, will appear in court July 30. Both will appear in Gila County Superior Court in Globe.

According to newspaper policy, the Roundup does not print the names of suspected sex offenders unless they plead guilty or are convicted.

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