Metro Atlanta health care boss accused of arranging child sex

A metro Atlanta health care executive was arrested last week in Alabama on Internet child sex solicitation charges, authorities said.

Michael Lee Graue is accused of trying to arrange to have sex with a 14-year-old girl, Hartford, Ala., Police Chief Annie Ward told The Atlanta Journal-Constitution.

Graue, 58, was the chief executive officer of the southern region of Tenet Healthcare until he was fired Monday, company officials said.

Hartford police, in cooperation with the non-profit Perverted Justice, set up a sting to apprehend pedophiles, Ward said, and were able to ensnare Graue.

He began chatting online with a Perverted Justice volunteer he believed was a teen girl, police said.

“They chatted for several weeks and he quickly during this time propositioned her for sex,” Ward said. “They finally agreed to meet on Friday.”

He drove more than 200 miles from his metro Atlanta home to Hartford in southeast Alabama, stopping about 15 minutes from his destination in Dothan to rent a hotel room, Ward said.

At a Hartford restaurant where he allegedly had arranged to meet the girl, Graue encountered Ward and her officers.

“He basically came up with this story that he had driven down here to help this poor girl out,” Ward said. “Then he told us, ‘I wasn’t planning to have sex with her.’”

Police arrested him.

Investigators found that Graue was carrying sex toys and lubricants with him for his journey, Ward said.

“It was apparent by the things he brought with him what he was intending to do,” she said.

He was charged with electronic solicitation of a child and traveling to meet a child for an unlawful sex act.

The first charge is a Class “A” felony in Alabama that carries a sentence of 10 years to life in prison, police said. Graue faces up to 20 years prison time for the second charge, police said.

He was booked into the Geneva County jail in Geneva, Ala., on Friday and released Monday on $200,000 bond, according to jail officials.