Texas man arrested for soliciting Southampton child via web

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A four-month joint police investigation ended April 1 with the arrest of a 19-year-old Texas man who allegedly solicited a 13-year-old Southampton girl over the internet, Southampton Village Police announced Friday.

Police say the arrest stemmed from a December 12, 2007, complaint by the parent of the child, who was not identified by police.

Steven Frank Bradchulis of Crystal Beach, Texas, sent sexually explicit photographs of himself and attempted to arrange a meeting with the girl, according to Village Police. The village contacted the Galveston County Sheriff’s office in Texas for assistance in the case.

“We started an investigation based on what Southampton had started,” said Major Ray Tuttoilmondo of the ?sheriff’s office. To build its case, the sheriff’s office obtained records from internet service providers, Major Tuttoilmondo said. “Getting that information sometimes takes literally weeks,” he added.

Mr. Bradchulis turned himself in on April 1, the major said. He was charged with two counts of online solicitation of a minor, a felony. His bail was set at $80,000 for each count, and he had not posted bail as of Monday, according to Major Tuttoilmondo.

Southampton Police Chief William Wilson Jr. said it was the most detailed investigation of internet crime that his department have ever coordinated with an out-of-state police department.

In light of the arrest, Village Police said they are encouraging parents to monitor their children’s computers and report any inappropriate activity to their local police department.

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