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Feds indict California sex offender accused of traveling to Utah for sex with 'child'

Published: Friday, Aug. 1 2014 2:27 p.m. MDT

SALT LAKE CITY — A federal grand jury has handed up an indictment against a California sex offender accused of driving to Utah for the purpose of having sex with a person he apparently believed was a 12-year-old girl.

Cameron Lawson Call was indicted Wednesday in U.S. District Court on one count of coercion and enticement for illegal sexual activity, and one count of travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct.

Call, 34, is also charged in Utah's 8th District Court with enticing, soliciting or luring a minor by Internet or text, a second-degree felony, and distribution of pornography by an adult, a third-degree felony.

Call was arrested at gunpoint during a July 21 traffic stop just west of Vernal. The Loomis, California, man had driven nearly 800 miles to meet a 12-year-old girl for sex at a hotel, according to state court records.

The "child" was actually a Vernal police detective working undercover with the Utah Crimes Against Children Task Force. Call contacted the detective in April under the apparent belief that he was communicating with a child, charging documents state.

"On several occasions Cameron went into explicit detail about the various things that he wished to do to me and (said) that he wanted to come to Vernal, Utah, to engage in these acts," the detective wrote in a probable cause statement.

Call sent the detective a sexually explicit picture of himself without being asked to do so and shared Web links that showed underwear he wanted the "girl" to buy, the detective wrote.

He also repeatedly requested photos of the "girl," but the detective told him he didn't have a webcam or other means of taking pictures, charging documents state. Call responded by sending the detective online gift cards with instructions to purchase a digital camera and a memory card, according to investigators.

Then on July 19, the detective said, he received a message from Call stating that he was in Utah to visit family in Sandy and planned to travel to Vernal. The following day, Call sent another message asking the "girl" if she "was ready," the charges state.

"Cameron asked if I was nervous and I advised him that I didn't want to get pregnant," the detective wrote. "He responded with, 'Condoms.' I asked Cameron if he was bringing condoms and he advised, 'Yes.'"

Police in Sandy helped investigators in Vernal identify the car Call was driving and he was arrested before reaching the hotel "for public safety reasons," Assistant Vernal Police Chief Keith Campbell said.

If convicted in state court, Call faces a maximum indeterminate sentence of up to 20 years in prison. A conviction on the federal enticement charge carries a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison, with the possibility of a life sentence. The traveling for illicit sexual conduct charge carries maximum possible penalty of up to 30 years in federal prison.

Call, who is identified in charging documents as a convicted sex offender, is being held in the Uintah County Jail without bail. A preliminary hearing on the state charges is set for Tuesday. An initial appearance on the federal charges had not been scheduled Friday.

Email: gliesik@deseretnews.com

Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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