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Online sex sting leads to arrest in Hudson

Kenneth J. Chambers

A St. Paul man who thought he was talking online with a 15-year-old child was arrested in an online sting conducted last week by authorities in St. Croix County.

St. Croix County sheriff's deputies allege the 59-year-old man arrived in Hudson with a box of condoms in his car after having sent a half-dozen images of his genitalia to the fictitious account.

Prosecutors charged the man, Kenneth J. Chambers, with three felonies: child enticement, using a computer to facilitate a sex crime and attempted second-degree child sex assault. Two of the charges carry a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison and a $100,000 fine.

According to a criminal complaint:

A sheriff's deputy launched an internet crimes against children investigation Sept. 28 by posting an online ad on a site known for "hook up" and "dating."

A man identifying himself as "stpaul daddy" responded two days later in an email that described sexual interests. The email, which authorities said was from Chambers, also contained a photo containing part of a face and a full nude body.

The deputy responded Oct. 1 under the fake account with interest, but stated "I gotta be straight with ya I am only 15," the complaint states.

"That would be a risky thing for me to get into," Chambers said in a response the same day that included two more photos of the man in various states of undress.

They arranged a meeting location in Hudson after Chambers requested that the encounter be "suuuuuper discreet." Chambers eventually went to a parking lot on Coulee Road where officers were waiting.

Deputies found a box of condoms under the driver's seat of his car. He was arrested and interviewed in jail, where he said "he was aware the person he was in contact with had identified himself as 15 years old," according to the complaint. Chambers also admitted to sending photos of his genitalia.

Chambers was held on a $5,000 cash bond at his initial appearance Oct. 3. A preliminary hearing was set for Friday, Oct. 12.

Mike Longaecker

Mike Longaecker is the regional public safety reporter for RiverTown Multimedia. His coverage area spans St. Croix and Pierce counties. Longaecker served from 2011-2015 as editor of the Woodbury Bulletin. A University of Wisconsin-River Falls graduate, Longaecker previously reported for the Red Wing Republican Eagle and for the Forum Communications Minnesota Capitol Bureau. You can follow him on Twitter at @Longaecker

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