Acworth man arrested in NJ for trying to have sex with a 9-year-old

An Acworth man living in New York has been charged with traveling across state lines for the purpose of having sex with a minor and for distributing child pornography.

Beginning in July, Richard J. Simone, Jr., 23, of Acworth, thought he was communicating with a woman he met on a website about having sex with her 9-year-old daughter and her underage babysitter. Instead, he was communicating with an undercover federal agent who was posing as the woman, according to U.S. Department of Justice officials.

Over the next three months, Simone and the agent had numerousgraphic online discussions regarding Simone’s desire to have sex with the child and the babysitter, officials said. .

In August, Simone sent nine images of child pornography to the agent and in September, traveled from Long Island, where he was living, to Monmouth County N.J., with the intent of having sex with the ficticious daughter and babysitter, authorities said.

Simone was arrested at the Monmouth County restaurant where he and the agent had planned to meet, according to authorities.

The case was investigated as part of a nationwide initiative launched in May 2006 by the Department of Justice to combat child exploitation and abuse.

The charges carry a penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. .