ST. JOHNS COUNTY, Fla. – An undercover online sex sting led to the arrest of a man whom deputies said wanted to have sex with a 12-year-old girl.
Michael Frances Hennessy, 62, of Melbourne, was arrested and charged with:
- One count of obscene communication by trying to use a computer to solicit a parent of a child for consent to have sexual conduct with a child
- One count of obscene communication by trying to use a computer to solicit a child for sexual conduct
- One county of cruelty toward a child by transmitting harmful material to a minor
- Public order crimes by using a cellphone to facilitate a felony
According to a copy of an arrest warrant obtained by News4Jax, the investigation into Hennessy began in mid-July when St. Johns County detectives said Hennessy made internet contact with an undercover detective, who was posing as a single mother of a 12-year-old girl. Investigators said Hennessy provided the undercover detective with a phone number and the two began texting each other back and forth.
The warrant included the following excerpts from those texts.
Suspect: “Love to give your little girl some fun how old please send pic im willing to do anything she wants"
Undercover detective: “Sure about that? She will be 13 next month, is that ok with you?”
According to the warrant, during the exchange of messages between Hennessy and the undercover detective, Hennessy sent nude pictures. As the conversation continued, investigators said Hennessy’s intentions were more explicit about what he wanted to do with what he thought would be a child. The undercover detective eventually sent a picture that is commonly used during this type of sting operation and, according to the warrant, that led to a phone call between Hennessy and an undercover detective who was posing as a girl named Riley.
The phone conversation was detailed in the warrant, but is very explicit. The warrant stated that at one point, Hennessy asked Riley if it was OK for her mom to watch them have sex.
As the conversation continued, the warrant stated that Hennessy gave the undercover detective an address in St. Johns County, where he would drive to from the Orlando area. Detectives said he never showed up.
St. Johns County detectives said they contacted the Brevard County Sheriff’s Office and detectives learned Hennessy was under investigation for online threats. Brevard County investigators said Hennessy admitted to making internet threats. They also said he provided them a number that was identical to the number used during the conversation he had with an undercover St. Johns County detective.
Hennessy was booked on Monday into the St. Johns County Jail, where he was ordered held on $40,000 bond.