A retired California Highway Patrol official was convicted Thursday in a sex-crime retrial related to a 2006 meeting he arranged in Laguna Beach with a person he thought was a 13-year-old girl.
Stephen Robert Deck, 64, of Carlsbad was found guilty by a jury in Orange County Superior Court of a felony count of attempted lewd acts on a child, the second time he was convicted in the case.
On Feb. 12, 2006, Deck initiated contact online with a person he believed was a teenage girl, the Orange County district attorney’s office said. But the online profile Deck had contacted was actually being run by an adult volunteer from Perverted-Justice.com, a nonprofit that aims to protect children from internet sexual predators, the district attorney’s office said.
Deck had online and phone conversations over several days with a woman who told him she was 13.
He asked if she liked older men and he made “sexually aggressive comments about eating pie,” the district attorney’s office said.
Six days after the online contact began, Deck — who at the time was a CHP lieutenant — drove while off duty from San Diego County to Laguna Beach for a meeting he arranged with the fictitious teenager. Officers arrested him when he arrived at a park. He was carrying a digital camera, and condoms and a key-lime pie were found in his car, authorities said.
Deck was convicted of the same charge in December 2009 and was sentenced to a year in Orange County Jail, five years’ probation and lifetime registration as a sex offender.
The conviction was affirmed by a California appellate court but was later reversed in the federal 9th Circuit Court of Appeals, resulting in a retrial.
Deck had already served his original sentence, so he was immediately re-sentenced Thursday with credit for time served, meaning he will serve no additional jail time.
His status as a registered sex offender will be reimposed, the district attorney’s office said.