January 16, 2013 | 10:01am
Stephen Robert Deck, an Orange County-based lieutenant in the California Highway Patrol, desperately craved illegal sex with underage girls and took numerous steps to achieve his fantasies.
But Deck ended up nabbed in a 2006 Perverted Justice sting orchestrated with undercover officers at the Laguna Beach Police Department.
In 2009, an Orange County jury convicted him of committing attempted lewd acts on a 13-year-old, the Internet chat room apple of his eye that turned out to be a decoy.
Superior Court Judge M. Marc Kelly, a former prosecutor, ignored Deck's steadfast refusal to accept responsibility and gave him a sentence of five years of probation after declaring in open court that dirty cops deserve easier punishments than other citizens who've committed crimes.
Deck appealed his conviction to a California Court of Appeal based in Santa Ana and lost.
He asked the California Supreme Court to consider overturning his case and they refused to even entertain his complaint.
He then appealed to federal judges, arguing that his constitutional rights were violated because prosecutor Robert Mestman misstated the law during his closing arguments to the jury.
This week, U.S. District Court Judge Michael W. Fitzgerald closed the complaint after accepting a magistrate judge's detailed report that Deck, who retired claiming on-the-job injuries is now living in San Diego County, was convicted righteously by Mestman's "overwhelming" evidence.
According to court records, Deck had an obsession with "daughter-daddy" sex and more than a passing interest in pursuing middle school-aged girls for intimate relations. In a Yahoo chat room, he met 13-year-old "Amy," the decoy, asked her what times her mother left the house for work, mentioned her "beautiful lips," suggested he wanted intercourse and asked the girl if she "likes sucking cock."
Apparently thinking he was clever and in hopes of having a legal defense if his scheduled meeting with Amy was a sting, he called the girl while driving to Laguna Beach and said he didn't want to have sex during their rendezvous.
His concocted defense failed, in part, because he brought with him to the date a box of condoms.
The expiration date on the box had passed.
Police arrested him when he approached the decoy and he immediately faked a serious illness.
for more details about Deck's arrest and conviction.