Sunday, September 13, 2009

Larry E. Windeknecht - Repeat Sex Offender - Facing 30 years for Child Luring

A convicted sex offender currently facing felony charges of trying to lure a child to a Cape Girardeau park for sex could face up to 30 years in prison under a new law that increases the range of punishment.

Larry E. Windeknecht, 50, of Cape Girardeau was charged Friday with attempted enticement of a child, a crime that formerly carried a maximum sentence of seven years' incarceration.

The new law, which took effect in 2006, upgrades the range of punishment from five to 30 years in prison.
"The good thing about this statute is that the sex offenders who are preying on children are removed from society just for trying to make contact with the child, before the sexual abuse to the child actually occurs," said Cape Girardeau County Prosecuting Attorney Morley Swingle.
Now THAT'S Prevention

Enticement of a child, meaning a person older than 21 "persuades, coaxes or lures" anyone younger than 15 to engage in sex with them, carries the same punishment as attempted enticement, Swingle said.

Swingle charged Windeknecht as a prior offender because of five felony convictions that include a sexual abuse conviction in Cape Girardeau County in 1988, and a statutory sodomy conviction in St. Louis County in 1996.
According to a probable-cause statement, Windeknecht had been sending inappropriate text messages to a 13-year-old girl, and the child's mother turned the cell phone over to police.

Estes posed as the child and exchanged messages with Windeknecht, who repeatedly asked to meet somewhere with the understanding that sexual activity would occur, the statement said.
Windeknecht was arrested when he arrived at Capaha Park Thursday afternoon. In an interview with police, Windeknecht said that he'd been trying to be a "good Samaritan" and was only meeting the child so he could take her to her mother and explain that she had been sending explicit text messages to him, the statement said.
Windeknecht is held at the Cape Girardeau County Jail on $100,000 cash-only bond.

"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"
.........Sarah Tofte

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