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Dublin: 6 °C Thursday 21 November, 2019
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US Secret Service officer accused of sexting girl he thought was 14, while on duty in the White House

Robert Lee Moore sent a series of explicit and graphic messages and photos to two undercover federal agents.

moore Robert Lee Moore

IN THE LATEST embarrassment for the agency that protects the US President and his family, a uniformed Secret Service officer has been charged with trying to solicit a teenage girl for sex.

Lee Robert Moore, 37, of Church Hill, Maryland, has been bailed in nearby Delaware on charges of sexual solicitation of a child under 18 and providing obscene material to a person under 18.

He is charged separately in federal court with attempted transfer of obscene material to a minor, and despite posting bail, remains in custody on this charge.

As part of an undercover sting operation, police in Delaware posed as a 14-year-old girl on the “flirting” app Meet24, according to the complaint against Moore.

A user named “Rob N/A” then contacted the girl’s profile, and engaged in flirtatious chat with her – asking what kind of clothes she liked, informing her that he was texting from the shower – before sending her a photo of himself.

Their conversation then moved to the messaging app Kik, where Moore’s alleged comments and questions quickly escalated from flirtatious to graphically and explicitly sexual.

“Rob N/A” – whose real identity as Robert Lee Moore had by then allegedly been established by investigators – proceeded to ask what he thought was a 14-year-old girl about her past sexual experiences, using language of an explicit sexual nature.

He also told the undercover agent, again in graphic detail, his plans to have sex with her, and discussed where they could meet, suggesting they could “do some stuff” in a park.

In all, between 24 August and 8 November, Moore allegedly engaged in sexually explicit chat, and exchanged photos – including one of his own penis – with two undercover agents posing as a teenage girl.

The details of his activities on the messenger apps might be upsetting to some readers, but are outlined in the criminal complaint filed with the US District Court in Delaware this week.

white house Source: Picasa/PA

Throughout the sting operation, Moore was assigned to the White House, and travelled overseas on duty for a short period in October.

On one occasion, he told the purported girl that “work sucks today,” informing her that he was sitting at a “box-office style booth, checking IDs for entrance into a building.”

He asked her what she was wearing, and asked her to send him something “exciting,” apparently to ease the boredom of his work at the White House.

In the end, Moore was placed on administrative leave and had his badge and weapon confiscated on 6 November.

Two days later, he wrote to his teenage correspondent:

I don’t think we should talk anymore. I can’t explain, but I have too much going on, and I need to pull away from talking to people online altogether.
This will be my last message. I’m sorry, but I won’t be on Kik or Meet24 again.

On Monday, Moore was arrested, and during subsequent interviews admitted that he was “Rob N/A”, that he recognised the girl’s profile, that he believed she was 14, that he had sent her a photo of his own penis, and that he had communicated with her while on the job at the White House.

According to the complaint, he also stated that he had a general interest in young teenage girls, and had used the Meet24 app to contact several of them.

A spokeswoman for the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Delaware said a detention hearing for Moore will be held in federal court in Wilmington next week.

His arrest brings new scrutiny to a federal agency already reeling from a series of scandals stretching back to 2012, when more than a dozen agents and officers were implicated in hiring prostitutes during a South American presidential trip.

Contains reporting by the Associated Press.

Read: Sex crimes investigator accused of trying to have sex with a sexual assault victim>

Read: US Secret Service chief resigns over security breaches>

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Dan MacGuill

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