Indiana man sentenced to 34 years in child-sex sting

A man who drove from Indiana to Garfield County for sex with children in a law enforcement sting operation was sentenced Tuesday to serve 34 years in federal prison.

Steven Raines, 35, of Fort Wayne, Ind., was also ordered by U.S. District Judge Brooke Jackson to serve lifetime sex-offender supervision, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Denver said. Raines had pleaded guilty Oct. 24 to attempted coercion and enticement to engage in sex with a minor, and distribution of child pornography.

A grand jury indictment said Raines in April 2012 starting chatting online with a federal agent who was posing as a single mother of two daughters, ages 4 and 14. Raines engaged the agent’s persona about having sex with her and her children, explaining at one point he’d been “searching for 20 years” for someone who would provide sexual access to her children, the indictment said.

Raines began sending pictures, including suspected child pornography, while making plans to travel to Colorado. Raines expressed an interest in fathering a child with the agent’s persona, while expressing his main sexual interest in the fictitious 4-year-old daughter.

Raines started driving June 29 but stopped the next day in Topeka, Kan., where his van broke down.

He was arrested when he showed up at a home in Garfield County on June 30, the indictment said.

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