Pa. inmate targeted girl from prison

March 18, 2009 12:07:46 PM PDT
A prison inmate from central Pennsylvania will serve more than 12½ years for writing letters from prison trying to convince a girl to have sex with him.

A federal judge imposed the sentence Wednesday against Charles Lester Smith Jr. for attempted enticement of a minor for sex.

Prosecutors say the 41-year-old Newville man targeted the teenage girl after her stepfather, Smith's Mercer State Prison cellmate, told Smith about her. Court records say the other inmate had sexually assaulted and twice impregnated the child.

They say Smith was caught after the victim's mother intercepted a letter from him. Smith then wrote 29 more letters from prison that were answered by police posing as the child.

Smith's lawyer Ari Weitzman declined comment.

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