by Ivan Foley
A man found guilty of having a plan to entice and brutally rape a 13-year-old has been convicted and sentenced but remains free pending an appeal.
The man, who authorities say arrived at a Platte County hotel with a plan to rape a 13-year-old girl to the verge of unconsciousness, has been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Christopher D. Craig, 36, of Kansas City, received the sentence on May 21 after being found guilty in a December trial of attempted enticement of a child and attempted statutory rape in the first degree.
On Thursday, Platte County Circuit Court Judge James Van Amburg announced the sentencing for Craig. The judge ruled that Craig’s bond would serve as his appeal bond and he was not taken into custody.
Van Amburg’s announced sentencing for Craig is 10 years on each count. The sentences will run concurrently.
Prosecutors unsuccessfully argued for consecutive 12-year sentences, for a total of 24 years. Van Amburg imposed concurrent sentences of 10 years on each count.
Craig remains free on a $100,000 cash bond pending appeal. Prosecutors had requested the bond be increased after Craig was convicted, but the court denied that request.
Platte County Prosecuting Attorney Eric Zahnd said, “In all my years as a prosecutor, I have seen very few cases where a defendant's plan to sexually abuse a child was so deliberate, so detailed, and so disgusting. I believe this man is dangerous, and the public should be aware as long as he remains at large.”
In April 2013, a Platte County Sheriff's deputy conducted an undercover sting operations on a website that pedophiles are known to frequent. The officer posed as the mother of a 13-year-old girl.
Craig contacted the purported mother and, after some discussion, sent a text message offering to give the child “the full lesson on how to please a man properly and would involve all three orifices.” Over the next few months, Craig continued to correspond with the purported mother. After more texts, Craig arranged to meet the child at a hotel in Kansas City.
While planning his liaison with the child, Craig emailed the mother a 15-point plan detailing the ways he would rape, sodomize, and abuse the child. The plan graphically described various sex acts that Craig intended to inflict upon the child, including sadomasochistic abuse. Among other things, the plan stated, “if [the child] has not passed out and she is feeling brave we will move on to [another sexual act].”
On July 22, 2013, Craig traveled to the hotel in Platte County with condoms, personal lubricant, and latex gloves, intending to meet the 13-year-old for sex. Instead of meeting the child, Craig was arrested by Platte County Sheriff's Deputies.
Craig admitted to investigators that he would have had sex with the child if she would have been willing.
Zahnd said, “Thank goodness this case did not involve an actual child, but the defendant made it very clear he would have completed the acts if given the opportunity. Those who would rape and abuse children deserve long prison sentences, and we did all that we could to send this defendant to prison for as long as possible.”
At sentencing, Craig's friends and family, including his wife Audrey Craig, and father, Charles R. Craig, Jr., filed letters on his behalf pleading for leniency.
This case was investigated by Platte County Sheriff's Department detectives assigned to the Western Missouri Cyber Crime Task Force. Myles Perry and Chris Seufert, assistant prosecutors, handled the case for Zahnd’s office.