Us Weekly's "Hot Stuff" editor, Timothy McDarrah, was arrested last night for soliciting a minor for sex on the internet. "Mr. McDarrah has been suspended without pay pending the outcome of the investigation," Us Weekly spokesman Alex Dudley told Gawker. "Us Weekly has promised to cooperate fully with the FBI's investigation."
More info TK if/when we learn it, although we're not sure we want to.
UPDATE: A statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office alleges that McDarrah responded to a Craiglist ad offering "the freshest, youngest girls" available, corresponded with an undercover FBI agent he believed to be a 13-year-old girl, and agreed to meet with her last night, at which point he was arrested. He also allegedly offered to buy the "girl" CDs, clothes, and an iPod, and he allegedly told her he worked at Us Weekly.
The full press release, if you can bear to read it — and we're not sure we could, if it weren't our job — is after the jump.
United States Attorney
Southern District of New York
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 15, 2005
U.S. ARRESTS MAGAZINE REPORTER FOR USING THE INTERNET
TO ENTICE A MINOR GIRL FOR SEXUAL ACTIVITY
MICHAEL J. GARCIA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, and MARK J. MERSHON, the Assistant Director of the FBI in Charge of the New York Field Office, announced that TIMOTHY McDARRAH was arrested yesterday on charges of using the Internet to entice someone he believed to be a thirteen year-old girl to engage in sexual activities.
According to the Complaint filed earlier today in Manhattan federal court, an undercover Special Agent of the FBI posted an advertisement under an alias on June 22, 2005 in the "erotic services" section of the popular Internet website "craigslist", offering the "freshest, youngest girls" available in all ages. McDARRAH, using the screen name "Ps41alum@aol.com," allegedly responded to the advertisement. According to the Complaint, he specified in graphic terms the sexual activity he desired, agreed to pay $200 for sex with a thirteen-year-old girl, and planned to meet her on July 7, 2005. McDARRAH failed to appear at the meeting.
According to the Complaint, from late July 2005 through September 14, 2005, McDARRAH engaged in numerous Internet conversations with an individual he believed to be a thirteen year-old girl, but who was actually the undercover Special Agent of the FBI (the "Thirteen Year-Old Girl"). It is alleged that during these conversations McDARRAH explicitly and graphically described the sexual activities in which he planned to engage with the "Thirteen Year-Old Girl" when the two met in person. McDARRAGH also allegedly revealed that he worked at Us Weekly magazine and offered to buy clothes, CDs, an iPod and anything else the "Thirteen Year-Old Girl" wanted.
According to the Complaint, during the Internet conversations, McDARRAH asked the "Thirteen Year-Old Girl" where she lived. The "Thirteen Year-Old Girl" gave McDARRAH a fake address located in Manhattan (the "Undercover Address"). On September 14, 2005, McDARRAH allegedly sent an e-mail to the "Thirteen Year-Old Girl" informing her that he was at the Undercover Address and requesting that she meet with him.
McDARRAH was arrested by Special Agents of the FBI near the Undercover Address. McDARRAH allegedly admitted that he had gone to the address to meet someone whom he believed to be a thirteen year-old girl with whom who he had engaged in sexual 3 conversations on the Internet and on the telephone.
The defendant was scheduled to appear before United States Magistrate Judge KEVIN N. FOX in Manhattan federal court today.
The Complaint charges McDARRAH with one count of using the Internet to persuade, induce, entice, and coerce an individual younger than 18 years-old to engage in sexual activity. If convicted, the defendant faces a mandatory minimum prison term of five years and a maximum prison term of 30 years.
Mr. GARCIA praised the investigative efforts of the FBI in this case and said that the investigation was continuing.
Assistant United States Attorney REBECCA A. MONCK is in charge of the prosecution.
The charges contained in the Complaint are merely accusations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.