ELLICOTT CITY, Md. (WMAR) - A 50-year-old businessman from Texas was sentenced today for the sexual solicitation of a minor in Columbia.
Jeffrey Kerber pleaded guilty to the charge in March, but today he was sentenced to three years in prison with all but 18 months suspended. He was also ordered to serve 5 years of supervised probation upon his release, to have no unsupervised contact with children other than his own and he has to register as a sec offender.
On August 30, 2011, Kerber was in Maryland on a business trip and was attempting to meet up with a 13-year-old girl at a Starbucks in Columbia. The girl turned out to be a Maryland State Trooper.
As part of an undercover online investigation, the trooper posed as a 13-year-old girl. She first encountered Kerber on August 22, 2011, in a "Dad & Daughters" internet relay chat room. Over the next week, the two engaged in sexually explicit exchanges, moving their conversations to Yahoo Messenger.
At this morning's hearing, Kerber's parents and wife addressed the court, seeking leniency as they spoke of support from his family, employer and church. Kerber also spoke, apologizing to his parents and his wife, reiterating his acceptance of his guilt.
In imposing the sentence Judge McCrone told Kerber that his offense "cannot be ignored."
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