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Man charged for alleged sexual chats with minor [UPDATED]

Published 11:05am Wednesday, March 13, 2013 Updated 11:05am Wednesday, March 13, 2013

A 53-year-old Perham man who allegedly engaged in more than a dozen electronic chats which were sexual in nature with who he believed was a 13-year-old girl has been charged with two felonies.

John Patrick Flatley was charged Feb. 14 in Otter Tail County District Court with engaging in electronic communication relating to or describing sexual conduct with a child and electronic solicitation of children, both felonies. He was also charged with one count of a felon in possession of a firearm, a gross misdemeanor. His first court appearance was Monday.

According to the criminal complaint, the Minnesota Bureau of Criminal Apprehension received information Nov. 20, 2012 from the Flathead County Sheriff’s Office in Montana regarding sexually explicit conversations with Flatley and minors. A Flathead County deputy conducted an undercover chat investigation and posed as a 13-year-old girl, meeting Flatley through a Yahoo chatroom May 10, 2012, the report says.

The deputy identified herself in the chats as a 13-year-old girl from Montana, according to the complaint. In multiple conversations, Flatley allegedly asked “to engage in conversations of sexual nature,” the report says.

Flatley reportedly chatted with the 13-year-old known as “Amber” more than a dozen times, with the bulk of the chats between May 10, 2012 and July 11, 2012. The last message was reportedly Nov. 2, 2012.

According to the complaint, some of what Flatley mentioned during the chats on various occasions included: He said he’d be her boyfriend, he asked her to send photos of herself to him (and he would send photos to her), he described rubbing suntan lotion on her if they could meet, he said he loved her, he talked about coming to Montana and meeting in a motel room, graphic details about a sexual encounter, and kissing and hugging her.

An Otter Tail County detective assisted the Minnesota BCA Jan. 18 with a search warrant of Flatley’s apartment in the 1100 block of West Main Street in Perham as part of the investigation. When Flatley was interviewed during that time, he initially denied having conversations of sexual nature with minors, but he reportedly admitted to it when he was shown a printed copy of part of the conversations with “Amber,” the report says. He explained “that they [the conversations] enabled him to relieve his urge to have sex with minors,” Flatley reportedly said. He also reportedly said he never intended to travel to Montana to meet the 13-year-old, though he did allegedly admit to several online relationships with other minors.

Three long rifles belonging to Flatley were found from the search warrant Jan. 18, along with a number of girls panties and clothes, the report says.

Flatley was also convicted in February 1998 with the U.S. Military for rape and other charges involving a minor child. He was confined for three years and dishonorably discharged from the military as a result of the conviction and sentence. It was unlawful for him to possess firearms based on his dishonorable discharge.

Flatley’s next court appearance is scheduled for March 25.


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