Government employees in Virginia and all across the nation understand how their titles and jobs can define them. When criminal charges occur, defendants face not only potential damage to their personal lives, but also damaged professional reputations. Allegations relating to a sex crime not only could lead to a conviction and serious penalties, but also could result in personal hardships whether a conviction results or not.
A statewide effort between dozens of law enforcement agencies at all levels has resulted in the arrest of 20 people across Virginia, state Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli said. The online sting operation the task force used to target the suspects was dubbed "Operation Phalanx," and resulted in charges of online solicitation of a minor and distribution of child pornography.
A regional law enforcement partnership says that one of its agents chatted over the Internet with a Lunenburg County, Virginia man who believed he was talking to a 14-year-old girl. The partnership, called the Northern Virginia-D.C. Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, accuses the man of trying to arrange a sexual encounter with the "girl." The man faces several criminal charges related to the undercover sting. Authorities continue to investigate him, but have not found any evidence that he committed sexual contact on a minor.