• 34°

Iowa man gets probation for sending illicit messages

A St. Ansgar, Iowa, man was sentenced to three years of supervised probation in Mower County court Thursday for sending illicit messages to a 7-year-old Dexter girl over the social networking site Facebook last month.

Nicholas James Thompson, 20, was convicted of one count of engaging in electronic communication relating or describing sexual conduct with a child, which is a felony.

The conditions of Thompson’s probation include attending a sex offender program. Thompson is not allowed to contact the victim or her family. He is also not allowed to access the Internet without approval, and he cannot use social networking sites.

According to the complaint, the incident in question occurred Jan. 17. Mower County deputies were notified that night after the 7-year-old girl’s mother noticed the illicit conversation between her daughter and Thompson.

The mother, who said she is acquainted with Thompson, entered the Facebook conversation and lashed out against the defendant, warning him she was notifying authorities. Thompson responded by writing that someone must have hacked into his account and that he didn’t say anything to her daughter.

Thompson volunteered to hand over his cell phones, which he used to access the Internet, to the deputies.

At first, Thompson said he had never sent any illicit messages to the girl, claiming that he often lets people use his phones and that someone else may have accessed his Facebook account. However, upon further questioning, Thompson admitted to the inappropriate conversation with the 7-year-old, the complaint states. He also admitted to knowing her age.