FROM FRANKLIN CIRCUIT COURT HONORABLE THOMAS D. WINGATE,
JUDGE ACTION NO. 17-CR-00006
FOR APPELLANT: C. Mike Moulton Elizabethtown, Kentucky
FOR APPELLEE: Andy Beshear Attorney General of Kentucky Julie
Scott Jernigan Assistant Attorney General Frankfort, Kentucky
BEFORE: DIXON, GOODWINE, AND MAZE, JUDGES.
KRS 510.155(1) makes it unlawful
for "any person to knowingly use a communications system
. . . for the purpose of procuring or promoting the use of a
minor, or a peace officer posing as a minor if the person
believes that the peace officer is a minor[, ]" for
sexual or prohibited activities. A Franklin County jury found
Appellant, James LeRoy Cayton, guilty under this statute for
sending emails and text messages to a peace officer posing as
an adult female offering to arrange for a sexual encounter
between Cayton and her thirteen-year-old daughter. Cayton
contends a finding of a guilt is permissible under KRS
510.155 only if the defendant believes he is communicating
with a minor. For reasons stated below, we hold that a person
can be found guilty under KRS 510.155 by communicating
through an adult intermediary. We therefore affirm
Background and Procedural History
posted an ad on the website Craigslist seeking a partner for
"Taboo Role-Playing Fun." Cayton's ad expressed
an explicit interest in incest role-playing. Cayton received
a response from "Vanessa," purportedly a divorced
adult woman with a thirteen-year-old daughter. Cayton and
Vanessa then began conversing through texts and email, with
Cayton expressing an explicit interest in having sex with
both Vanessa and her daughter. Cayton also asked Vanessa to
speak to her daughter about the potential sexual encounter.
The following exchange through text messages is illustrative:
Cayton: How'd the talk [with the daughter] go?
Cayton: Well lol [laugh out loud]. What she say and
what u tell her or talk to her about lol?
Vanessa: Just asked if she wants to meet a friend
for lunch next week and that she can't say anything to my
bf [boyfriend] about it because he would not understand
Cayton: Oh ok. Talk to her about sex at all?
Vanessa: Just that an older person has more