You have to love our judicial system.
The Turner Report featured a post Sunday on the arrest of Donal Wadsworth, 46, Fayetteville, Ark., during an Internet sex sting set up by the Fayetteville Police Department.
The police collared Wadsworth after he arranged for a sexual encounter with an underaged girl. At the time, Wadsworth was arrested, he was free on a $5,000 appeal bond after a Jasper County jury found him guilty of the same crime. Wadsworth was arrested after another of Diamond Police officer Jim Murray's internet sex stings. The case was heard in Jasper County on a change of venue, with Judge Tim Perigo presiding
Naturally, the moment word reached Newton County Prosecuting Attorney Scott Watson that Wadsworth was purportedly continuing to prowl the internet for 13-year-old girls, Watson petitioned the court to have Wadsworth's bond revoked.
Watson was turned down. The prosecutor was reportedly livid and wondering just what someone has to do have a convicted felon's bond revoked.
According to a report last week on KHOG, Fayetteville, Wadsworth was trolling the Internet even while he was being tried here on seven counts of enticement of a child.
"The investigation was primarily done online, and officials said that Wadsworth engaged the undercover officer in sexual conversations several times over the past two months," the KHOG report said.
The station quoted Fayetteville Police Sgt. Bill Phelan as saying, "He showed up at 12:30 a.m. to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl, and was taken into custody by an officer."
Wadsworth was nailed in Missouri on April 26, 2004, as another one of Diamond Police officer Jim Murray's Internet stings. Newton County prosecutors indicated Murray and Wadsworth had more than 50 Internet communications, according to print reports.
A Jasper County jury convicted Wadsworth after hearing evidence that he had spoken graphically about girls with whom he had sex and told Murray's teen alter ego "Cindy" what he would do to her if they ever met.
According to a Neosho Daily News account, Murray testified that the discussions continued even though Wadsworth knew "Cindy" was supposed to be 13 years old. The two arranged a meeting at the George Washington Carver National Monument. When he arrived, Wadsworth was arrested by the Diamond Police Department.
There was a time when I questioned the wisdom of these Internet sex stings. I was teaching at Diamond when one of these perverts was arrested just outside school property after arranging a liaison with Murray's 13-year-old alter ego. I wondered why we should invite these people into our area.
After having seen the continuing string of arrests, including some from this area (i. e. Gary Blankenship of Neosho) and watching the recent NBC Dateline investigation into older men who are using the Internet in an effort to have sex with teens, I have completely changed my mind.
The Dateline report showed that time after time, these twisted people continued to follow the same patterns even after they had already been arrested, and in some cases convicted on sex charges.
If the Fayetteville charge proves to be true, Donal Wadsworth should have his bond revoked immediately. In this case, since Wadsworth has already been convicted, the judge need not worry about the presumption of innocence, his obligation is to the safety of the people.