HONOLULU (KHNL) - A man accused of using the internet to arrange a rendezvous in Hawaii with a teen from the mainland appeared in court Monday. His arrest Sunday night capped a multi-agency investigation that started in Michigan.
The suspected child predator told the court he's living with AIDS. Despite that, investigators say Jason Neu ventured into cyberspace in hopes of hooking up sexually.
A California man on disability stands in a Hawaii courtroom accused of trying to have sex with a Michigan boy. Investigators say Jason Neu chatted on-line with a law enforcement officer from Michigan who was posing as a 14-year-old boy.
"He allegedly engaged in graphic sexual conversation with our undercover agent, and allegedly propositioned the agent to travel to Hawaii and meet him there for the purpose of sex," Rusty Hills, spokesperson, Michigan Attorney General's office, said.
"Do you own anything of value in excess of $1,000?" the judge asked Neu.
"No, sir," the defendant replied.
Despite having little, investigators say the suspect managed to cough up plane tickets for himself and the teen.
"It's alleged that Neu sent an e-ticket over the internet to the 14-year-old boy, who he thought was a 14-year-old boy, for air transportation from Detroit all the way to Honolulu," Hills said.
Neu arrived early, staying at the YMCA on Atkinson Drive. Hawaii authorities say they arrested him at the Honolulu International Airport Sunday night, as he tried to pick up his cyber pal.
"There's a great cooperation between law enforcement units, not only within states across jurisdictions but between states," Hills said. "And this is a classic example."
Neu's next stop will likely be Michigan, where he faces charges of sexually abusive activity involving a child, and using a computer to commit a crime. If convicted of the felonies, he faces 20 years in prison on each count.
"To those who are thinking about doing this, be careful because what you think may be an underage child on the other end of your line could very well be an undercover agent," Hills said.
Michigan authorities say they've been quite aggressive when it comes to cyber crimes against children. This is the 119th suspected internet predator they've arrested since 2003.