• Conviction - icepirate53 - Fortuna, California

    - Chatlog Conviction -
    File originally posted on 12/18/2004 11:47 AM PST [Link to File]
    Report made 1/20/2005 11:21 PM PST

    Ron McCullough was a teacher in California who decided to log on as his IM name, "Icepirate53" and try to "pirate" the innocence of a kid. Now, rather than Ron McCullough receiving the object of his sick desires, he will forever be branded a sex offender, has been forced into early retirement and will face full sentencing in mid-February. McCullough pled guilty to the following count:

    288.2. (a) Every person who, with knowledge that a person is a minor, or who fails to exercise reasonable care in ascertaining the true age of a minor, knowingly distributes, sends, causes to be sent, exhibits, or offers to distribute or exhibit by any means, including, but not limited to, live or recorded telephone messages, any harmful matter, as defined in Section 313, to a minor with the intent of arousing, appealing to, or gratifying the lust or passions or sexual desires of that person or of a minor, and with the intent or for the purpose of seducing a minor, is guilty of a public offense and shall be punished by imprisonment in the state prison or in a county jail. A person convicted of a second and any subsequent conviction for a violation of this section is guilty of a felony.

    Here is the write-up of this case and our involvement by site contributor Tyrone who did a great job on this.

    Tyrone: I cannot say enough good things about the LE involvement in this case. The speed, the effectiveness, speaks volumes as to their commitment in bringing down child predators.

    This chat took place 9/28/04. Ron deleted his icepirate53 account the next morning. It did him no good. You see, Ron commit a crime. Much as it pains our critics, it is a crime to solicit sex. Actually having sex falls under other statutes. The act of trying is all it takes to break the law.

    On 09/30/04 it was inadvertantly discovered that he was, in fact, a 7/8 grade school teacher.

    By 10/01/04 LE were fully on board, and actively investigating. They were so on the ball, it was almost a blur.

    10/13/04 McCullough was pulled from his classroom, house searched, computers seized. Faced with iron clad evidence, he confessed, fully.

    He's not been back in the classroom since.

    He'd originally been offered a plea agreement, to just one count. The PC 288.2(a). He changed his mind. Maybe he hoped for a sweeter deal? Who knows. He appeared in court, and pled not guilty. His case was printed in the media, we were then clear to post his chat, and initiate our Follow Up. We did so. His community was alerted to his true nature. His neighbors, his coworkers were able to log on and view his chat in full.

    Yesterday Mr. McCullough appeared in court. Yesterday Mr. McCullough pled out. Mr. McCullough will teach no more. His sentencing is set for 2/16/05. He'll likely have to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Countless children will now be shielded from him and his sick desires.

    This is how it's supposed to happen. The wannabe finds one of us, commits a felony, LE jumps on board, and conviction is complete in under 4 months.

    There were indicators in the chat that this was a teacher. I hoped that he wasn't a teacher. He was. I wanted him, no, I needed him out of that classroom. The next day, when he spooked, and tried to cover his tracks, I knew, all day long, that he was sitting in a classroom full of students the age I'd been portraying. A man, who, the night before was so impatient to rape me he could barely stand it. He was in close proximity, in a position of authority, over a classroom full of children. I was physically sick at the thought. I take great pride in knowing that he's been removed from the classroom. I fervently hope that he had not harmed any of his students. I fear he may have. But I rejoice that he's been removed from that position.

    Probation, early retirement, loss of his credentials, Sex Offender status.....just...Wow.


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    You read right, Ron McCullough deleted his IM account but was still charged with a crime. We have said that many states have great solicitation laws on the books and that they need to prosecute them aggressively. This is the first example of a state doing so with us. Ron didn't have to go to some pre-arranged meeting spot to be arrested, he didn't have to have four weeks worth of conversation where he would have ample time to solicit others... no, he just had to break the law. He broke those laws and police jumped on it in the most pro-active fashion possible.

    Yes, this is a conviction on a chat-log. Just like Shawn Barnett, Ron McCullough has helped prove once again, that chatting sexually with what you think is a minor IS a crime, IS prosecutable and our work IS enough to bring a case upon. McCullough will no longer have access to the very age of kids he desired in his chat-logs, and for that we are immensely happy.

    We urge all law enforcement reading this to check out this case in greater detail, as it is a great example of avid, active prosecution. No run-around, no artificial slowness. Quick, speedy, justice.