A 50-year-old aerospace engineer was sentenced Monday to four years in state prison for arranging and meeting a 14-year-old girl in Palmdale for sex, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.
Richard Flower also was ordered to register as a sex offender for the rest of his life. Last month, Flower pleaded no contest to contact with a minor for a sexual offense, lewd act upon a child, meeting a minor for sexual purposes and possession of child pornography. A no contest plea has the same legal effect as a guilty plea.
Deputy District Attorney Jon Hatami, who prosecuted the case, said Flower contacted the victim through an online instant messaging service on Sept. 25 and arranged to meet her.
The following week, Flower met the girl in Palmdale and he had sex with her, the prosecutor added.
After the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department was alerted about the interaction, investigators pretended to be the girl and sent text messages to Flower asking to meet again.
Flower was later arrested and child pornography was found on his cellphone, the prosecutor said.
The case was investigated by the Sheriff’s Department’s Special Victims Bureau.