A California man who was convicted of using the cell phone app Tinder to lure a 12-year-old girl into sex was sentenced to only 16 months in jail, reports say.
Anaheim resident Sean Rickard, 22, pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor three years younger than the perpetrator for having sex with the girl whom he met over the app, according to the Daily Mail.
After accepting the plea deal, prosecutors dropped several more serious charges including using the Internet to lure a child, and pornography charges.
The police first became involved when the girl’s school became aware that she had been molested by an older man and reported the incident.
One of the girl’s friends saw Rickard meet the victim in his car in a parking lot. The friend took a cell phone photo of the two and told her parents about the meeting. The friend’s parents then contacted the school.
The girl admitted to police that she said she was a 19-year-old on her Tinder profile. She and the suspect then traded texts for eight months before their first meeting, an investigation revealed.
To attain further proof, the Santa Ana Police Department then set up an account posing as a 12-year-old girl and began communicating with Rickard. Police said that the suspect sent them lewd photos of himself. He also tried to arrange a meeting with what he thought was a 12-year-old girl. Instead of a minor, though, Rickard met the police.
The police also said that Rickard admitted that he knew the actual victim was not 19 despite her Tinder profile claim. But he arranged to meet her anyway, despite her admission that she was only 12.
After serving his sentence, Rickard will also have to file as a sex offender.
Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.