Attorney General Beau Biden announced this week that separate undercover online investigations by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force had led to the arrest of two men who traveled to Dover-area locations allegedly to have sex with children. One of the men resides in Dagsboro.
“The Child Predator Task Force is working to weed out the most dangerous predators — those who seek to sexually assault our children,” Biden said. “Thanks to legislation enacted this year which strengthens penalties against predators who travel to meet their victims, we’re in an even stronger position to take them off the streets for longer periods of time, where they can no longer hurt kids.”
In the first case, 49-year-old Steve A. Moore of Dagsboro responded to the profile of a 13-year-old female on an online social dating site, according to the AG’s Office. During communications with a Task Force detective who was posing as the girl, Moore allegedly indicated in explicit terms that he wanted to meet to have sex with the girl.
Ultimately, a location, date and time was set to meet. Moore was subsequently arrested by the Child Predator Task Force and Delaware State Police Special Operations Response Team on July 22, when he arrived at the agreed upon time at Tidbury Park, on South State Street in Dover.
Moore was taken to DSP Troop 3 for further investigation, and a search warrant was executed at his residence, during which detectives seized two cell phones. Based on the investigation, Moore was charged with one count of Sexual Solicitation of a Child Under 18 and four counts of Obscenity. He was arraigned via videophone by JP Court 2 and was taken to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center for lack of $70,000 secured bail.
The investigation, including the forensic examination of the cell phones seized during the search of Moore’s home, was ongoing this week.
In the second case, 51-year-old Mark A. Cavill of Bloomingdale, N.J., allegedly responded to the profile of a 14-year-old female on an online social dating site. During multiple communications with a Task Force detective who was posing as the girl, Cavill allegedly indicated that he wanted to meet to have sex with the girl, and a location and a date and time were set to meet.
On Friday, July 18, the Child Predator Task Force and Delaware State Police Special Operations Response Team arrested Cavill when he arrived as agreed at a fast food restaurant on North Dupont Highway in Dover.
As a result of the investigation, Cavill was charged with one count of Sexual Solicitation of a Child Under 18. He was arraigned via videophone at JP Court 2 and was taken to James T. Vaughn Correctional Center for lack of $25,000 cash bail. On the day of his arrest, investigators obtained a search warrant for his cell phone and a forensic examination of the device was ongoing this week.
The two arrests are the first arrests made under the strengthened penalties established by House Bill 256, which was sponsored by Rep. Debra Heffernan (D-Brandywine) and Sen. Harris McDowell (D-Wilmington), passed unanimously in the General Assembly, and signed into law last month.
The legislation makes it clear that a sexual predator would be guilty of sexual solicitation of a child online whether the individual is soliciting an actual child or an undercover investigator whom the predator believes to be a child, and it elevates the offense from a Class C to a Class B felony in cases in which the predator actually travels to meet the individual he is soliciting online, whether the subject is a child or an undercover investigator.