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UF student arrested in Internet sex sting

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Posted: Tuesday, January 29, 2013 12:59 am

The Alachua County Sheriff’s Office arrested two Gainesville men and a UF student over the weekend as part of an Internet sex sting operation.

Deputies arrested Benjamin Wade Parker, Lance Thomas Kriete and Richard Lee Ashcraft III on felony charges, according to ASO arrest reports.

The sting was part of Operation Nightlight, an undercover online sex sting operation that started Thursday and ended Sunday morning, said ASO spokesman Lt. Todd Kelly.

Kriete, 20, of 13 Fraternity Row, responded Friday night to an online ad, where he started talking to who he thought was the father of a 14-year-old girl.

During the conversation, Kriete allegedly wrote, “id love to help her explore her body and what to do with older guys.”

He later said to the father, “what if I told you id love to f--- the s--- out of her?” according to the report.

The next night, Kriete drove to meet the girl and was arrested by deputies.

Deputies booked Kriete into the Alachua County Jail at 3:19 a.m. Sunday on a $75,000 bond. He was later released just after midnight Monday.

Kriete is a UF junior and currently a member of the Beta Theta Pi Fraternity.

Trent Talbot, president of Beta Theta Pi, issued a statement about Kriete’s arrest.

“We were shocked, disappointed and saddened to learn yesterday of the alleged personal conduct of Lance Kriete, a member of our Fraternity,” he wrote in an email. “As a result, we have been working closely with the local authorities, the University of Florida administration and our General Fraternity to ensure that Beta Theta Pi contributes in every manner possible to the timely legal investigation. Out of concern and respect for Lance’s friends and fraternity brothers that have been affected so significantly upon learning of the allegations, we ask for considerate privacy in the coming days as the investigatory process continues.”

Parker, 24, of 4117 SW 20th Ave., allegedly spoke to who he thought was a 13-year-old girl, saying that he was 17 years old, according to the report. He sent a picture of a penis to the girl and asked her to send him a picture, according to the report. He also said that he wanted to have oral sex with the girl.

Deputies arrested Parker and later booked him into Alachua County Jail at about 4 a.m. Friday, where he remained Monday night with a $250,000 bond.

Ashcraft, 40, of 1021 NW 23rd Ave., responded to an online ad Saturday, according to the report. He thought he was emailing a 13-year-old girl and asked if she wanted to have sex.

During questioning, Ashcraft told police he thought he was talking with an 18-year-old girl but later said he knew the girl was 13 years old.

Deputies later booked Ashcraft into the Alachua County Jail at about 3 a.m. Sunday, where he remained Monday night with a $75,000 bond.

Staff writer Chris Alcantara contributed to this report.

Contact Kathryn Varn at kvarn@alligator.org.

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