DUBOIS – A DuBois man is facing seven felony charges for allegedly exchanging sexual messages with what he thought was a 15-year-old girl.
On Thursday, Ryan Matthew Sprague, 30, was charged by DuBois City police with felony statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with person less than 16, unlawful contact with a minor, aggravated indecent assault, corruption of minors, and criminal use of communication facility, as well as misdemeanor indecent assault person less than 16 after a confrontation with members of the 814Pred Hunters group on Wednesday.
He is being held in the Clearfield County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bail with a preliminary hearing scheduled for Feb. 10 at District Judge David S. Meholick’s office in DuBois.
According to the affidavit of probable cause, on Feb. 1, police were called to a location on North Brady Street to investigate a disturbance in a parking lot of a business.
When they arrived, they talked with members of the 814Pred Hunters who supplied copies of messages Sprague sent to one of their online decoys, setting up a meeting to possibly have sex.
The group also advised that Sprague had purchased condoms prior to arriving at the meeting site.
After reviewing some of the messages, the officer stated “Sprague had solicited various sexual acts from what he believed to be a 15-yar-old juvenile female,” in the report.
While he was being handcuffed, Sprague allegedly stated: “I can’t believe I did this.”
In his vehicle, police found a bag with a receipt for condoms dated earlier that day, but were unable to locate them.
In an interview with police, Sprague admitted to buying the condoms with “the intention of meeting what he believed to be a 15-year-old girl” and he “intended to have sexual intercourse with the 15-year-old girl at some point during the night.”
Initially he denied knowing the girl’s age but was confronted with his messages that showed he did know how old she was.
He did reportedly confirm the messages came from his social media account and the messages in the transcripts provided by 814Pred Hunters were accurate.
In the messages, Sprague stated he “didn’t want to get in trouble” and tried to confirm that she would not tell any of her relatives about him.
“Sprague exchanged photographs and made numerous sexually-explicit requests to engage in sexual acts with the juvenile female,” the criminal complaint says.
He also arranged the meeting around her mother’s work schedule.
Sprague is just one of the many men responding to profiles of underage girls on various social media sites by sending inappropriate messages, videos, photos and trying to meet them for sex who have been caught in the web of 814Pred Hunters.
The local 814 group has “caught” over 35 men in this manner, according to a spokesman.
In addition to their Clearfield County cases, they have also dealt with predators in Blair, Elk and Wyoming counties and others out of state.