Remember when US Weekly reporter Timothy McDarrah was fired because he'd been arrested for soliciting sex with a minor? Yeah, kinda puts the alleged proclivities of certain New Yorker staffers to shame. Anyway, McDarrah was found guilty yesterday "of using the Internet to attempt to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity" after an eight-day jury trial. (McDarrah was apparently too good for a plea. Sucker!) The press release we got about the verdict had some deliciously disgusting details about McDarrah's crimes, which we've reprinted after the jump.
As the evidence at trial established: McDARRAH initially responded to an undercover advertisement the FBI had posted on June 22, 2005, in the "erotic services" section of the Internet website "Craigslist," offering the "freshest, youngest girls" available in New York City. Following an exchange of e-mails prompted by that advertisement, McDARRAH asked, "what it'll cost for the cutest white 14 year old girl with a pony tail in the whole 8th grade." McDARRAH specified in graphic terms the sexual activities he desired, agreed to pay $200 for oral sex with a thirteen-year old girl, and made plans to meet the girl on July 7, 2005. However, he did not appear at that meeting. Thereafter, McDARRAH, using the Internet screen name "PS41alum@aol.com," communicated over the Internet with "Julie," whom McDARRAH believed to be a thirteen-year girl, but who was actually an undercover FBI agent posing as a young girl. From July 21, 2005 through September 14, 2005, McDARRAH, then 43 years old, communicated with "Julie" via instant messages, e-mails, and two telephone conversations. Among other things, McDARRAH wrote that he would tutor her to get her into high school, and provide her with "sex lessons."
McDARRAH also described his job at US Weekly and wrote about how he interviewed and reported about the lives of celebrities such as Renee Zellweger and Jennifer Lopez. McDARRAH also e-mailed a photograph of himself to "Julie." In addition, at McDARRAH's request, "Julie" sent McDARRAH a picture, purporting to be her, of a real 13-year old girl. During his electronic communications with "Julie," McDARRAH told her he needed to be careful of whether law enforcement was involved, and even sent her an newspaper article of a man who was arrested in Pennsylvania for going after an undercover officer posing as a 13-year old in a chatroom. McDARRAH told "Julie" that he wanted her "to see what trouble" he could get into with her, and stated: "Hope this never happens to me!!!" McDARRAH also went to the area where he believed "Julie" was living in an effort to see her. McDARRAH wrote "Julie" that he went
there twice; the third time McDARRAH appeared at the location, FBI agents arrested him.
The evidence at trial also showed that McDARRAH sent e-mails in response to other advertisements, asking if they were really 18 and stating that younger was fine with him. McDARRAH resides in Manhattan. From in or about October 2004 through September 2005, McDARRAH worked as an editor and reporter for US Weekly Magazine, a subsidiary of Wenner Media L.L.C. Under the PROTECT Act of 2003, McDARRAH faces a mandatory minimum of five years' imprisonment and a maximum of 30 years' imprisonment on the child enticement count.