Last year, we told you about Georgia's James Lee Pierce, a convicted child molester who allegedly spent months grooming an underage teen for sex before he could round up the money for a trip to Colorado in order to get his swerve on, only to discover that the object of his repulsive desire was actually a fifty-something cop.
He's now been convicted in the case, for which he's been convicted on attempted child sex assault and more. And while jurors didn't have the option of also naming him Schmuck of the Week, we do — and thanks to details such as the ankle monitor he wore at the time of his bust, he richly deserves the honor.
As we've reported, an arrest affidavit on view below provides the background on the tale. The document notes that on December 31, 2013, Lakewood Police Department Investigator Mike Harris, assigned to the Crimes Against Children unit, was online portraying a girl younger than fifteen when he was greeted with an instant message from someone identified as "scrapbucket."
The next day, scrapbucket provided an e-mail address allegedly belonging to Pierce.
The initial conversation between Pierce and the "girl" was creepy but lacked explicit language: Sample comments included "do you like older guys" and "i like young girls like you." But the exchanges soon escalated to requests for a nude photo and remarks such as "I dont care if its against the law" and "you the only [stated age of teen] that didnt think I ws a perv."
Harris presumably did. He soon traced Pierce to a home address of 442 Morrison Camp Ground Road NE in Rome, Georgia and discovered a criminal record capable of inspiring shudders.
The affidavit notes that Pierce was arrested in 1991 for "Literal Rape, Sodomy and Child Molestation," with 7News reporting that the victim was a three-year-old boy.
Pierce was convicted of the crime the following year, earning a sentence of five years behind bars and fifteen years' worth of probation. But he violated his probation in 2006, failed to register as a sex offender in 2007 and allegedly violated probation again in late 2012. As a result, he was reportedly required to wear an ankle monitor.
Despite the presence of Pierce's tracker, he wasn't confined to his home. Indeed, Georgia law allows people in his situation to travel out of state. And in his communication with the fictional Colorado teen, he made it clear that was his plan — and he had a lot of other bad ideas, too.
The nature of the messages got progressively more explicit over time, as you'll see when you check out the affidavit. Amid references like "with you on the pill I don't need a rubber" and "I want to cover you in chocolate and whip cream" is a dubious boast about what Pierce would like to do with his "5/nd half inches."
He's also said to have sent the "girl" a photo of himself exposing his penis, as well as another shot with him "on his bed naked with him bending over with his butt up in the air showing his anus and testicles."
By early April, Pierce was trying to convince his sister to give him enough money to travel to Colorado, so he could meet with the girl. A female investigator portrayed her during a phone call with the sister and claimed to be eighteen, under alleged direction from Pierce.
The chat apparently did the trick, because on April 15, Pierce revealed that his sister had purchased Greyhound bus tickets for him, with Colorado as the destination. And he was definitely ready, noting, "I just took a testosterone booster."
He wouldn't need it. He boarded a bus in Marietta, Georgia and finally arrived in Denver on April 17. After that, he caught a cab to an address in Jefferson County — where he was taken into custody on suspicion of Internet luring of a child, Internet sexual exploitation of a child and attempted sexual assault on a child.
This week, a juror lowered the boom on Pierce four times. Counts included attempted child sex assault and Internet luring of a child with intent to exploit.
His intentions didn't turn into reality, thank goodness. But he's anointing as this week's Schmuck certainly did.
Here's a 7News item about Pierce's bust, broadcast around the time of his original arrest, followed by the arrest affidavit and a look at his complete booking photo.