Dillon -- A Dillon man caught in a Boise police sting last June admitted in court Tuesday that he had solicited sex on the Internet from someone he believed to be a 14-year-old, and then traveled to Boise to meet her.
A former Mormon Church stake president, Clayton Hildreth, 51, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Boise to a charge of interstate travel with intent to have sex with a minor. He faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.
While the U.S. attorney's office hasn't made a specific recommendation as to prison time, the office's public information officer, Jean McNeil, said it's anticipated that Hildreth will be incarcerated.
Sentencing is set for Jan. 24 at the federal courthouse in Boise.
McNeil said a pre-sentence investigation will be completed before the sentencing hearing. That investigation typically contains a recommendation for sentencing. Prosecutors usually base their recommendations on that, said McNeil.
Hildreth agreed to forfeit his 2000 Dodge pickup truck and his computer system as part of the plea agreement. He will be required to file as a sex offender in whatever state he resides after completing any prison time.
According to court records, Hildreth started an Internet relationship with an undercover Boise police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl calling herself "boisejenni2008.''
During more than a dozen instant messaging sessions over the next six weeks, Hildreth solicited sex from the "girl'' and eventually called her to make arrangements to meet. On two occasions he sent her live sexually explicit images of himself from his office computer.
On another occasion, he told her that he was 39 years old, when in fact he's 51.
On June 23, Hildreth drove to Boise and appeared at what he believed to be the girl's home carrying three condoms, a gift of intimate apparel and a digital camera.
He was arrested by Boise police.
U.S. attorney Tom Moss praised the Boise police department's aggressive campaign against Internet pedophiles. He also urged parents to be alert to the dangers their children face on the Internet.
"The Internet is a wonderful tool, but like all tools it can be misused,'' said Moss. "We will continue to work closely with law enforcement to protect our children from those who prey on them.''