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Online sex predator sentenced to prison

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Robert W. Fuss III

W.Va. resident caught in undercover operation targeting Internet offenders

By Alex Bridges -- abridges@nvdaily.com

WINCHESTER -- A West Virginia man must serve prison time for proposing sex with a person he thought was an underage girl he met online a year ago.

Robert Wayne Fuss III, 27, of the 200 block of Clearview Road, Hedgesville, appeared Monday in Frederick County Circuit Court on charges of computer sex solicitation and attempted indecent liberties with a 14-year-old girl.

Under an agreement reached between the commonwealth and Fuss' attorney, David Hensley, the defendant pleaded guilty to all 10 counts.

Retired Judge Herman A. Whisenant Jr. accepted the agreement, which called for Fuss to receive concurrent terms of three years and six months for the two counts of solicitation. Fuss received concurrent terms for each of the eight counts of indecent liberties. The judge suspended all sentences for the indecent liberties and ordered the time to run consecutive to that of the terms for the solicitation counts.

Fuss must serve five years of supervised probation upon his release from prison and register as a sex offender with the Virginia State Police. The defendant also shall have no access to computers, smart phones or other electronic devices except for educational or work purposes, according to the plea agreement. The deal also forbids Fuss from accessing social media websites such as Facebook.

On Dec. 15, 2010, and Jan. 20, 2011, Fuss engaged in an online chat with a Frederick County Sheriff's Office investigator assigned to an Internet Crimes Against Children task force, Commonwealth's Attorney Glenn Williamson said. The officer posed undercover as a 14-year-old girl, Williamson said. Fuss proposed sexual acts to the officer as set forth in the charges, according to the prosecutor.

Shortly after the last conversation authorities in West Virginia searched the defendant's home.

"The defendant was cooperative with them and admitted what he had done," Williamson said.

Fuss turned himself in to authorities at the Northwestern Regional Adult Detention Center and was released on a $20,000 unsecured bond, according to a news release issued by the Sheriff's Office.

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