A federal jury in Alabama recently convicted 60-year-old Alan Preston Prine of Daphne, Alabama of soliciting sex from children on craigslist.
Back in November Saraland police detective James Morton placed a phony ad on craigslist that read…
“P.hamily fun serious replies only bama won yes T.erday and kansas state lost don’t forget to H. elp the less fortunate this C. hristmas”
Assistant U.S. Attorney Maria Murphy told the jury during her opening statement that the defendant, himself, explained the meaning of the capital letters sprinkled throughout the ad. She said PTHC was an acronym – Preteen Hard Core.
You learn something new every day. “Phamily fun’ is an old one though. That usually means that someone is willing to rent out their kids to pedophiles.
Prine responded to the ad in less than an hour of it being posted. Detective Morton did not respond immediately at first to give Prine an opportunity to change his mind. Four hours later Prine e-mailed about the ad again. This led to an exchange of over 200 e-mails between Prine and who he thought was a mother willing to allow Prine to have sex with her daughters. Police set up the meeting and when Prine showed up with pizza police arrested him. I wonder what happened to the pizza, but I digress.
Prine’s public defender tried using the defense that Prine was actually trying to seduce the ‘mother’ and that on the internet every thing is fantasy anyway. No really, he said that…
“My client, Mr. Prine, was looking for relationships with women,” he said. “My client at no time thought that he was speaking to a child.”
“It is not just officers who pose. People on the Internet pose,” he said. “This case presents a world of smoke and mirrors.”
Except in the e-mail exchange Prine said that he likes 9+. That means he likes girls no younger than 9. Ick. He probably thought that was some kind of moral code too.
Luckily the jury wasn’t buying it and convicted Prine. He’s looking at 10 years in federal custody.
Yet still no political or media pressure on craigslist. They continue to do nothing about these kinds of ads still relying on what they call community policing but how you can you really police when the community is rife with predators and pedophiles?
UPDATE 10/20/2013: Prine was sentenced to 12 years in federal prison and everyone involved acts like this was his first time…
“I am not a sex offender. This event is an anomaly in my life. It was a one-time deal,” he said. “I am ashamed of the language I used, but I am not a child offender.”
I’m sorry but a noob in any situation doesn’t pick up the lingo like that on their first outing. More than likely, since they found no evidence of any other crimes against children, he was just that careful about being caught.