The Phelps County Sheriff's Department arrested a 48-year-old man from Brumley, Mo., on Thursday, after he contacted a member of the South-Central Missouri Computer Crimes Task Force who was masquerading as a 14-year-old female online as part of proactive child exploitation investigations, according to court documents.
On Thursday, Feb. 28, Daniel James Ault was arrested in Phelps County on one charge of child enticement, the probable cause issued by the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department states. Ault initially contacted a profile of a 14-year-old female online on Feb. 20. The 14-year-old female was an online persona that was created by a member of the South-Central Missouri Computer Crimes Task Force.
According to the probable cause, the 14-year-old persona was contacted by a 48-year-old male on the internet, later identified as Ault. Ault was notified by message and by the profile's age identifier that the female he was communicating with was 14 years old.
Ault still communicated with the persona through text message, and Ault “set the tone and pace of conversation that revolved around sexual behavior, experiences, solicitation of sex and over time enticing the juvenile to meet," the probable cause states.
On Feb. 27, 2019 the conversation by Ault was sexual in nature which led to "Ault asking of the persona’s sexual experiences," the probable cause states.
Ault made many sexualized statements to the persona and sent pornographic photos, according to the probable cause. Ault had identified some of the photographs as pornography of a juvenile female, and “Ault had lured, enticed and persuaded the persona to have a romantic and sexual relationship with him in lieu of money, property and companionship.”
On Thursday, Feb. 28, Ault had asked the 14-year-old online persona when their parent was going to work for the day because Ault said he would come to Rolla to meet the female for sexual intercourse, the probable cause states.
“When Ault arrived to Rolla, he rented a hotel room and then went to a specific location to meet the persona within Phelps County,” the probable cause states. Ault was contacted by police and immediately interviewed. A search of Ault’s vehicle revealed various sexually explicit items that included recently purchased roses and male contraception.
According to the probable cause, Ault claimed at the scene he was going to conduct an intervention and was not meeting the persona for sexual intercourse.
After law enforcement notified Ault of his Miranda rights, statements were obtained during an interview at the Phelps County Sheriff’s Department, the probable cause states. Ault “admitted he possessed suspected child pornography on an electronic device, that he did have the conversation with the persona for sexual relations, that he did supply pornographic images to the juvenile persona, but continued to claim his intentions was to conduct an intervention and notify the persona’s parent of their behavior.”
According to the probable cause, Ault committed enticement of a child when the 47-year-old persuaded, solicited, enticed and lured by words and action through electronic communication a 14-year-old female for the purpose of engaging in sexual intercourse and deviate sexual intercourse.
Ault was homeless and living in temporary housing and demonstrated a threat to “our community’s vulnerable children,” states the probable cause, and Ault disclosed to the persona that he has had relations with two other juveniles.
Ault’s bond is set at $250,000 according to Phelps County court documents.