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Sex predator could get probation


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POSTED: Friday, March 20, 2009

A man who admitted having sex with a 15-year-old girl he met online through the girl's MySpace account could get probation when he is sentenced in May.

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Matthew Cargill, 32, pleaded guilty in Circuit Court last week to two counts of second-degree sexual assault, five counts of third-degree sexual assault and first-degree electronic enticement of a minor.

Cargill had been charged with first-degree sexual assault, a Class A felony punishable by up to 20 years in prison. Second-degree sexual assault is a Class B that carries a maximum 10-year term. First-degree electronic enticement of a minor is also a Class B felony.

When Cargill committed the crimes, state law allowed judges to grant probation to persons convicted of first-degree electronic enticement. State lawmakers removed that option last year.

According to his plea agreement with the state, Cargill will be free to ask the judge to sentence him to probation to include no less than one year in jail. The state will be free to ask the judge to sentence Cargill to the full 10-year prison term.

Police said Cargill contacted the girl on the Internet then called her on the telephone to arrange to meet her at her home after midnight on March 6, 2006. The girl told her parents she was going to take out the trash and met Cargill outside the home.

The girl's parents went outside to look for their daughter but only spotted Cargill's pickup truck, according to court records. When the girl later returned home, she eventually told her parents she had sex with Cargill in the back seat of his pickup truck.

The girl said she thought Cargill was in his 20s. Cargill was 30 at the time.

After police arrested him, they seized Cargill's 2003 Ford F150, four-door pickup truck.

Rather than forfeit his truck to the state, Cargill paid the state $9,000.