CLEARFIELD – A DuBois man accused of sending sexually-explicit messages and setting up a meeting with a 14-year-old girl that turned out to be a decoy pleaded guilty Monday during sentencing court.
Christopher Matthew Link, 45, was originally charged by DuBois City police with unlawful contact with a minor-sexual offenses, five counts unlawful contact with minor-obscene material/performance, corruption of minors and criminal use of communication facility, all felonies.
Link, who is one of the men caught by the 814 Pred Hunters group, pleaded guilty to misdemeanor attempted corruption of minors and was given a time-served sentence of 153 days to one year in the county jail with two years concurrent probation. He must complete sex offender counseling.
Judge Paul E. Cherry commented that Link needs in-depth counseling and Link was fortunate that the district attorney did not pursue any of the original charges.
Link is the second man sentenced after being arrested for sending messages to a decoy from the 814 group.
Earlier this month, Kyle Michael Logan, 35, of DuBois pleaded guilty to misdemeanor attempted corruption of minors and was given a county jail term of time-served (125 days to one year) with two years concurrent probation by President Judge Fredric J. Ammerman.
814 Pred Hunters, a local group, has been using decoys online pretending to be young girls and answering messages from older men since September of last year.
If the messages escalate into sexual content and the men ask to meet for a sexual encounter, the group shows up at the meeting spot and confronts them.
According to the affidavit of probable cause in Link’s case, officers were called to the Sheetz on North Brady Street for a disturbance which turned out to be the 814 Pred Hunters group confronting a man identified later as Link, who was wearing a suit and tie.
The group provided the police with a binder full of sexually-explicit text messages between a decoy and Link from Dec. 16 to Dec. 19.
“In the messages, Link describes in graphic detail his desires and how he would have sexual intercourse with her and the sexual acts he would perform on her,” it is noted in the criminal complaint.
Link was told in the messages the girl was only 14. At one point, he reportedly asked if she was working with police.
Police say he had also sent five explicit pictures.
In the messages, they planned to meet at the Sheetz and go back to her place. The “girl” said she was nervous and he suggested she take a bath in order to “relax” because “it is very important.” He advised her he would be wearing a suit and tie.
In an interview with police, he at first claimed he was a victim of hackers but eventually admitted he sent the messages and pictures. He stated he “forgot she said she was only 14-years-old.”