July 29, 2014
RENO (AP) - A federal jury has convicted a Reno man of using the Internet to lure a girl to engage in sex.
Jeffrey Leigh Thurber had faced the same charge in state court more than two years ago, but the case was thrown out because the alleged victim was actually a detective in a sting operation and not a minor.
Unlike state law, federal law does not require an actual victim for a crime to occur. On Friday, following a three-day trial, a Reno jury found the 49-year-old Thurber guilty on the charge that carries a mandatory five-year prison term.
Thurber was arrested in 2004 when he showed up at a meeting location he arranged after entering a chat room on his computer and having a series of explicit chats with the undercover officer pretending to be a 14-year-old girl.
A FBI agent testified that the chat room used by Thurber was known to be used by sexual predators seeking minors.
U.S. District Judge Brian Sandoval set sentencing for August 3rd.
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