BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) – A 30-year-old Bend man was arrested and jailed Thursday after police said he tried to meet and have sex with a “15-year-old girl” who actually was a Bend police officer posing as a teen on a mobile app online.
A Bend officer began a criminal investigation Wednesday evening by posing as a 15-year-old girl on a cellphone’s mobile app, Sergeant Tommy Russell said.
The suspect, Steven Ray Ransom, began conversing with the “teen” and talked of having sex with her, making very graphic, detailed references to his intentions when they would meet, Russell said.
Ransom agreed to meet the “girl” early Thursday morning, and the officer provided a location where they could do so, the sergeant said.
Several Bend officers were surveilling the area, contacted Ransom when he arrived and took him into custody. Russell said he had several “sexually related items he stated he would bring with him” on his person when he was arrested. More evidence was observed in his car and on his cellphone.
Ransom was lodged at the Deschutes County Jail on charges of luring a minor for sexual conduct, first-degree online sexual corruption of a child and solicitation to commit a Class C felony.
"Bend Police want to remind parents to stay involved in their children’s digital world, know the apps they are using and have parental controls when possible," Russell wrote in a news release. "Children should talk with a trusted adult so they understand the online risks, and only chat with people they know, make sure their online accounts are private, and block people they do not know."