• Conviction - stevetakespix / uconnbluenwhite / rickspics2006 - Enfield, Connecticut

    - Chatlog Conviction -
    File originally posted on 3/10/2009 4:46 PM PST [Link to File]
    Report made 3/10/2009 4:46 PM PST

    stevetakespix (03/11/07 8:06:45 PM): so what else you wann aknow
    14-yr-old-girl (03/11/07 8:07:09 PM): u dont have a pic anyplace?
    stevetakespix (03/11/07 8:07:26 PM): i have pics i just dont have a myspace
    14-yr-old-girl (03/11/07 8:07:35 PM): o
    14-yr-old-girl (03/11/07 8:10:08 PM): u look freindly tho
    stevetakespix (03/11/07 8:10:16 PM): i am
    14-yr-old-girl (03/11/07 8:10:18 PM): not scary
    stevetakespix (03/11/07 8:10:27 PM): thats good
    14-yr-old-girl (03/11/07 8:10:35 PM): yea lol
    stevetakespix (03/11/07 8:10:48 PM): do i look like the guy you wanna lose your virginity to
    I think that's an easy "no."

    Richard Burnham spent his entire chat trying to convince what he thought was a 14 year old female to have sex with him. Or his friend, who was also him. Back and forth, complimenting himself across his two different personalities, Burnham had one goal in mind, to sexually assault a young girl.

    Burnham arrived at our Ocean County NJ sting and was confronted by Dateline NBC host Chris Hansen. At that point, we're pretty sure he wished his imaginary friend were there. Burnham was arrested and sentenced to 180 days in jail along with probation and registration as a sex offender. If he commits another crime, he will face a further 3-5 years in jail due to this crime.

    Contributor notes from Irish Rose
    This is definitely one of the oddest chats I have experienced while working as a volunteer decoy. It also one that parents need to read as a warning of the lengths that predators will go to in their attempt to deceive a child and gain their trust.

    Richard Steven Burnham first contacted my 14 year old persona in the MySpace New Jersey chat room, where he was using a MySpace profile portraying himself as a 21 year old male named "Rick", complete with pictures that made him appear to be an attractive young man. After messaging my persona in the chat room and via MySpace private messaging, he then made contact on AIM (AOL Instant Messenger). "Rick" made his sexual intentions known very quickly. He soon began to tell my persona about an older friend of his, "Steve". He told my persona "Steve" was 35 and then 37 and really wanted to have sex with a virgin. He worked hard to depict his friend as a nice, trustworthy guy. Steve then contacted my persona on AIM. Richard Burnham, 42 years old, was actually chatting to my persona using both the "Rick" and "Steve" personas in a calculated attempt to manipulate who he believed was a 14 year old child into meeting him for sex.

    I was aware very quickly that this was the same man chatting to my persona under both of these personas, but a real child would have been tricked easily. I watched with interest, dismay, and admittedly a bit of amusement, as he tried to delude and manipulate who he thought was a child using this calculated deception. The planning that went into this is frightening because a real child could easily fall for it. A good looking young man hits up a child, gains trust as a cool young guy. Then he introduces her to his older friend, using the trust he has already gained to trick the child into trusting the older man, who she might have rejected if he had contacted her directly. Then he uses his multiple personas to gauge his progress by using the younger man as her confidant regarding her feelings about the older man. He adjusts what the older man says on the basis of her reactions confided in the younger man.

    For three weeks this attempt at manipulation continued, while Steve graphically detailed his intentions and educated my persona regarding sex and what he would expect from her. (Usually I bold the graphic part of the chats for emphasis, but this chat has so much of that, most of chat would have been bolded.) He linked my 14 year old persona to porn videos as part of this education. He also tried to convince her to get another virgin friend of hers to come over and join them. Conveniently, Rick said he was sick so he would not be able to accompany Steve to visit my persona. But he reassured her: uconnbluenwhite (03/31/07 9:10:28 AM): yeah im really sick but Steve is a great guy I hope you like getting laid he'll do an awesome job taking your virginity hes really excited about it. And so Richard Burnham proceeded to drive three hours from Connecticut to New Jersey to meet who he thought was this 14 year old girl.

    Burnham arrived in New Jersey during a sting that was covered by Dateline and was interviewed by Chris Hansen. He was then arrested by the Ocean County police, pleaded guilty to endangering the welfare of a child, and was sentenced to 180 days in a New Jersey jail, lifetime probation and sex offender registration. While on parole, he could face three to five years in prison if he commits a new crime or fails to register as a sex offender. Richard Burnham had worked as a fire captain with Enfields Hazardville Fire Department and also as a freelance photographer of sporting events, both careers which would have put him in contact with young people.

    Van DeCamp was the verifier on this case, and has my extreme gratitude for talking with this man on his long drive, and for her skill and dedication.


    This is our 319th conviction since June of 2004 and our 16th conviction for 2009 thus far.