A registered sex offender from Hillsboro was arrested by Des Moines County detectives during a sting operation Thursday after traveling to Burlington for an expected sexual encounter with an underage girl.
Richard Leroy Parker Jr., 34, was arrested and charged with enticing a minor under the age of 16 (a class D felony) and dissemination and exhibition of obscene material to a minor (a serious misdemeanor).
On Aug. 26, Parker attempted to contact a Facebook profile posing as a 13-year-old girl that was being operated in an undercover capacity by a Des Moines County detective but received no reply, according to a criminal complaint.
Investigators later learned that Parker was a registered sex offender in Henry County for a previous third-degree sexual abuse charge.
The undercover detective agreed to meet Parker at Crapo Park in Burlington Thursday evening at the park’s log cabin.
Parker was arrested by police after pulling into a parking lot and taken into custody.
Police say Parker later admitted to investigators that he had driven to the area to meet who he thought was a 13-year-old girl for sex and to communicating with the undercover Facebook account and sending the lewd photo.
Parker is being held at the Des Moines County Jail on a $30,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 2 p.m. on Sept. 9 at the Des Moines County Courthouse.
The Des Moines County Sheriff’s Office says the incident is still under investigation and additional charges could be filed.
The Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Burlington Police Department also assisted in the investigation.