May 28, 2008 (The Free Lance-Star - McClatchy-Tribune Information Services via COMTEX) -- A Fairfax County employee pleaded guilty in Spotsylvania County Circuit Court today, to making online sexual advances to what he thought was a 13-year-old girl.
Instead, the "girl" Shahid Farooq, 32, was chatting with over the internet was a group of police officers from Spotsylvania and Fairfax counties.
The Spotsylvania County Sheriff's Office started investigating Farooq last June when an online screen name began sending messages to a decoy screen name they set up, posing as a teenage girl, according to a plea agreement signed by Farooq.
That screen name was later determined to belong to Farooq. The messages Farooq sent were sexual in nature and made propositions that could be classified as solicitation of a minor, the agreement goes on to say.
Soon after, Spotsylvania police went to officers from Fairfax County and shared their information. Fairfax police had begun an investigation on Farooq as well.
A Spotsylvania detective, posing as the 13-year-old girl, was chatting online with Farooq Aug. 15 of last year, when Fairfax deputies went into his government office to find him masturbating in his work space while engaged in the chat, according to the agreement.
Farooq later admitted to chatting with the decoy screen name and making propositions thinking he was in fact talking with a teenager.
Farooq, however, denied in court today that the masturbation in his office took place.
After police found Farooq Aug. 15, he was arrested and charged with two counts each of electronic solicitation of a minor and attempted indecent liberties.
Farooq pleaded guilty to one of the electronic solicitation charges today and the others were dismissed.
As recommended in the plea agreement, Farooq was sentenced to serve five years in prison, with four years and six months suspended.
He was also ordered to register as a sex offender and have no online contact for three years unless mandated by his employer.