PETERSBURG, Va. — A 33-year-old Hopewell man will spend the next 10 years in prison for having sex with a minor he first contacted using the social media site Facebook.
Wayne John Winder pleaded guilty on Monday morning to two counts of using a computer to arrange a sexual activity and one count of carnal knowledge in court.
The mother of the 14-year-old girl said she had no idea what was going on until she checked in on her daughter’s Facebook page. What her daughter’s messages revealed made her call police.
“It was just a check and it just happened,” the mother of the teen said. “The chat was left open, and I happened to see the whole conversation… The more you went back, the worse it got.”
More than 150 pages of Facebook exchanges between the 33-year-old and the teen were printed out. Les Lindsey, with the Petersburg Commonwealth’s Attorney’s Office, said some of the messages were typical but that the nature of other exchanges were also sexual.
In court, it was made apparent that the pair met secretly several different times.
“It was disgusting, absolutely disgusting,” Lindsey said. “The defendant was 32, she was 14. He took advantage of her, befriended her, looked at her weak spots, played on them – a master manipulator.”
Because of a plea agreement, the teen did not have to testify. One of Winder’s conditions of his probation will be that he is not to have any internet contact with anyone under the age of 18.
Still, this teen’s mother is urging parents to stay involved with their child’s social media, so as to ensure incidents like this don’t continue to happen.
“I agree he got 10 years, so that’s all fine and good… but who knows when he gets out, whether or not he will repeat and offend again?,” she said. “So, if we can do anything we can to stop him, then that’s what needs to be done to save another child.”