Image copyright Getty Images Image caption In court this week, a federal judge denied Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos the use of ’empathy shields’ which typically protect criminals
A decorated US Navy lieutenant commander has been arrested in Virginia and charged with trafficking a minor for sex.
Stanley Crouch entered guilty pleas in federal court in Alexandria on Friday, where he admitted having sex with a 16-year-old girl and filming the acts for financial gain.
The 61-year-old was an active-duty, highly decorated navy lieutenant, with two Bronze Stars and four combat awards for his work on carrier-based vessels.
Briefly, here’s how Crouch’s alleged crime unfolded:
Date of crime: November 2, 2016
‘Predatory sexual conduct’
An army sergeant first class, Crouch brought the teenage girl to Richmond, Virginia on a cycling trip
They attended a trucking show and were at a motorhome camp when they started having sex
The young woman told Crouch she was 17 and told him to take the risk and she would come with him
When she was 17 she changed her Facebook profile picture to match the one used by Crouch when he looked through her photos
They carried on sex acts for a few days at the camp
Crouch then came up with a plan to film the act for money
During sex, Crouch also said he would not kill the woman if she got pregnant
Crouch received payment using two gift cards to buy lingerie and sex toys and purchase sex with the girl
When the girl started to get sick after sex, he put her in a camper
The defendant told the woman he did not want to leave her alone in the camper and had later told an acquaintance he had sex with the girl more than one time
He arranged to give her $1,500 in cash
They drove her to a motel in the western suburbs of Baltimore, Maryland
Crouch requested that she remove her clothes and they had sex again
Upon returning home Crouch made multiple requests of the woman, including being told to cover up and not have sex with anyone while on leave
The women’s aunt eventually showed up at the house when the former sailor lied to her and told her his name was David Martinez
The woman, who was 17 at the time, then called the police
Crouch left the state the following day after he borrowed a ship’s phone for a ruse.
He is a decorated Navy lieutenant who commanded two ships. Image copyright Getty Images Image caption He was awarded six Navy and Marine Corps Achievement Medals and two Bronze Stars
Crouch admitted that at some point in 2016, he had sex with a 16-year-old girl whom he had invited to a motorhome park.
According to his plea agreement, the girl had an “obvious” and “unknown” sexual relationship with Crouch, and they had sex for money.
On November 2 2016, Crouch allegedly made a Facebook account in the name of a teenager. Crouch told the girl on December 28 2017, a year after the sex trip, that she would be able to buy sex online and told her he could help get the money for her.
He told her to not tell anyone that he had been her friend or that she was his wife.
He left the state on November 27 2017, the day that the girl’s aunt showed up at the house where she was living.
The next day, the uncle of the alleged victim alerted police to the incident.
Crouch admitted that he had filmed the acts during sex with the girl but said he had not told the girl that she was consenting to sex.
The 34-year-old wife of Crouch, Dianna Fentiman, had a second role in the case.
Her role has not been made public.
In court this week, a federal judge denied Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos the use of “empathy shields” which typically protect criminals by shielding them from having to reveal details of their personal life.
But the judge did allow it in cases where they are the victim of crime, such as those in sexual trafficking.
The case is expected to lead to lengthy prison terms for Crouch and his alleged victim.
Prosecutors in Virginia have asked that Crouch be sentenced to a minimum of 30 years behind bars.
The alleged victim could receive up to life in prison and fines of $250,000.