A Speegleville man caught in a sting operation targetting those seeking sex with minor children has been sentenced to 10 years deferred adjudication probation.
That means that if John Patrick McGaugh manages to complete his probation successfully, there would be no record of the offense.
But if he were to violate the terms of the probation or otherwise trigger a revocation of the probation he could face actual prison time.
McGaugh was arrested in January 2018 after Woodway police said he had gone to a local mall to meet who he thought was a 16-year-old girl.
A few days earlier, investigators say he initiated a conversation via a social media account he believed belonged to the young girl, but which was really being operated by an undercover officer.
Officers say that the man who made contact with them was made aware of the ” female’s”age several times and was even told he could get in trouble because of her age.
During a week, several hundred messages were exchanged many of which police say were sexually explicit in nature.
The “target” was asked to send several photographs of herself.
Police say that McGaugh then arranged a meeting with the person he thought was the 16-year-old girl at Richland Mall in Waco.
Before the meeting, police say he spent several hours having her prove she was in the mall by taking pictures in front of various stores, leading detectives to further determine that the meeting was illicit in nature.
Detectives located McGaugh driving slowly in the parking lot of the mall where he was taken into custody without incident.