Internet Predator Won't Serve Time in Jail

By: Jessica Zartler Email
By: Jessica Zartler Email

A Grand Junction man busted in an internet sex sting will not be going to prison.

On Monday, a judge sentenced 26–year–old John Merritt to probation for ten years to life. As part of the sentence, Merritt will also have to register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender treatment.

All of this after a jury convicted him of several charges including internet luring.

Grand Junction Police arrested the 26–year–old a year and a half ago after he had explicit chats and sent porn to an investigator posing as a 14–year–old girl.

Merritt going as "Irish John 3" in a chat room also arranged a meeting with the girl near Central High School, but never showed up.

For that reason and the fact that he had no prior criminal history prosecutors say the punishment fits the crime.

In court Merritt told the judge he was sorry for what happened and said he is changing his lifestyle.

Deputy District Attorney Tammy Eret says this was the first internet sex sting in Mesa County and hinted to 11 News that it may not be the last.

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