A federal grand jury has indicted a Duchesne man who investigators say used the Internet to meet a 13-year-old girl and then attempted to rendezvous with her at a Cedar City hotel earlier this month.

Gregg Stephen Bussey, 55, is charged in U.S. District Court in Salt Lake City with one count of coercion and enticement for illegal sexual activity. The offense carries a minimum mandatory federal prison term of 10 years.

Bussey was arrested by Iron County sheriff's deputies outside the Cedar City Crystal Inn on June 9. He was charged by Iron County prosecutors three days later with one count each of attempted child kidnapping, attempted rape of a child, attempted sodomy on a child, and attempted sexual abuse of a child, three counts of enticing a minor over the Internet, and 11 counts of lewdness involving a child.

The state charges will now likely be dismissed in favor of proceeding with the federal prosecution.

According to state court records, Bussey began chatting online with a 13-year-old girl in late March. Investigators said that several times during their chats over the intervening months, Bussey made reference to the girl's age, showing that he knew she was a minor.

Bussey also allegedly stated his intent to travel to Cedar City to meet the girl, contacting her in late May to let her know he'd reserved a room at the Crystal Inn for them, deputies said.

State court records further allege that Bussey had told the girl during their chats "that he was going to take her away" to California and Texas, and that "she could stay with him without her guardians knowing."

Bussey also allegedly detailed his desire to have sex with the girl during their online conversations and sent sexually-explicit videos of himself to her.

Bussey will remain in federal custody pending the resolution of the case against him. A five-day jury trial in U.S. District Court is scheduled to begin Aug. 18.


E-mail: geoff@ubstandard.com