BOISE, Idaho (AP) - A former Mormon stake president from Montana was sentenced to three years and five months in prison for soliciting someone he believed to be a teenage girl for sex on the Internet and then traveling to Boise to meet her.
U.S. District Judge Edward J. Lodge sentenced Clayton R. Hildreth, 52, of Dillon, Mont., on Tuesday.
Hildreth pleaded guilty in October to a charge of interstate travel with intent to have sex with a minor.
During the sentencing hearing, prosecuting attorney Jim Peters reminded the court that Hildreth "portrayed himself as a community leader, a father figure of his church who stood before congregations and preached about living a virtuous life. At the same time, he pursued the thrill of sexual gratification at the expense of a child, without regard for the effect that might have on the child or the people in his community who looked to him for leadership."
Prosecutors said in May 2004, Hildreth, using the screen name "Sexy Montana Gentleman," started an Internet relationship with an undercover Boise police officer posing as a 14-year-old girl. Hildreth moved the conversations from a public chat room to private instant messaging, and initiated discussions of sex.
During more than a dozen instant messaging sessions over the next six weeks, Hildreth talked about his previous encounters with young girls. He told the victim he was 39 years old and made arrangements to meet the victim. On two occasions he sent her live, sexually explicit images of himself.
On June 23, Hildreth drove to Boise and appeared at what he believed was the girl's stepmother's home, at a time of day when he believed the stepmother would be at work. Prosecutors said he was carrying three condoms, a gift of thong underwear and a digital camera.
He was arrested by Boise police.