Saturday, August 17, 2013

Sex sting snares engineer

An Orlando-based engineer for Lockheed Martin was arrested by Daytona Beach police Friday night and is accused of traveling to have sex with a child.

Daytona Beach police took Donald Champagne, 49, into custody when he arrived at what he thought was a rendezvous arranged online with a 13-year-old girl. The communications had been with an undercover officer posing as the mother of a 13-year-old girl.

Champagne was arrested on charges of using a computer service, using a two-way communication device and traveling to seduce or entice a child into sex, police said.

The police report identified Champagne as a chief engineer and noted that a phone number associated with the company had been used in communications with the undercover officer.

A Lockheed Martin spokesman said Saturday that the company doesn't comment on ongoing police investigations, doesn't comment about the personal lives of its employees and can't comment on Champagne's employment status.

The investigation started Aug. 1 when members of a child exploitation task force had been in an online chat with Champagne, who used the alias "DC" and used a phone number associated with Lockheed Martin, police said.

Champagne had responded to an online ad and began communicating with an undercover officer, who was posing as a mother offering her 13-year-old daughter for sex, police said.

During the online discussions, Champagne discussed explicit details about his plans with the girl and also promised to use condoms so that the girl would not get pregnant, police said.

He told the undercover officer, "I am nice, clean and discreet," police said.

The discussions continued over several days because Champagne was too busy for a meeting, but finally arranged to travel to Daytona Beach on Friday.

Following his arrest, Champagne told police that "he just made a poor decision and he was sorry for what he had done," police said.

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