California Court of Appeal rejected the claims of a convicted California Highway Patrol (CHP) officer who attempted to sexually molest a 13-year-old Laguna Beach girl after learning during an online chat that the girl's mother was away from home.
Unless the state's Supreme Court becomes sympathetic, Stephen Robert Deck, a CHP lieutenant based in Orange County, will forever be known as the cop who was nabbed in a 2006 Perverted Justice sting operation that used "Amy," an online decoy, to lure men interested in having sex with minors.
Deck told the girl in an online chat, "I probably won't be able to keep my hands off of you," asked her if she "liked sucking cock," and took six, post expiration date condoms with him to meet the girl after learning that her mother was not home.
In Deck's view, his conviction wasn't fair because the jury should never had learned about the condoms, there was "insufficient evidence" that he intended to commit lewd acts with the girl and Robert Mestman, his prosecutor, misstated the law during his closing argument.
But appellate justices upheld the conviction, writing in a 22-page opinion that none of Deck's arguments were persuasive.
"We conclude sufficient evidence existed to support the jury's finding that Deck attempted to commit a lewd or lascivious act on Amy," wrote Justice Richard M. Aronson, who noted that the cop's claim that he would not have molested the girl during their encounter was "faulty" reasoning given the circumstances.
Mestman demanded a prison term for the remorseless Deck, but the cop was sentenced to a year in the local jail.
to read my coverage of the controversial March 2010 sentencing hearing.
--R. Scott Moxley / OC Weekly