Attorney General’s Agents Charge Hernando Man With Sexual Exploitation of a Child
Agents with the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force arrested Danny Earl Lester, Jr., age 36, of Hernando on one count of Child Exploitation, announced Attorney General Jim Hood today.
Lester is accused of traveling to Southaven, MS to meet a 13 year old girl for sex. The meeting was arranged over the internet. “On the internet, perverts can hide their motives and disguise themselves with a friendly face. They are known to use games, chats, social media, and other online platforms to lure children into a bad situation,” said Attorney General Jim Hood. “Thursday’s arrest is another example of why we formed the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force in Mississippi. Dedicated agents from partner state, federal, and local law enforcement agencies, such as Southaven Police Department, protect our children and youth every day. I especially thank the hard working detectives from Southaven Police who worked exceptionally hard on this operation.”
“Our children deserve the best protection we can give them.” Attorney General Hood went on to say, “As law enforcement we arrest predators, and as parents we help prevent predators by monitoring our child’s internet activities and teaching them safe computing.”
Attorney General Hood urged parents to talk with their children, school and church leaders about online safety, saying, “Call my office and ask for a speaker who can help your school or community organization with online safety. Every day I pray for the safety of our children, and I am thankful each time I can stop a pedophile before a child is hurt.”
Lester was charged under Mississippi 97-5-33 with Exploitation of a child. The statute states “No person shall, by any means including computer, knowingly entice, induce, persuade, seduce, solicit, advise, coerce, or order a child to meet with the defendant or any other person for the purpose of engaging in sexually explicit conduct.” As with all cases, the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Lester is in the Desoto county jail awaiting his initial appearance. Bond has not yet been set.