PHOENIX — A jury in Maricopa County Superior Court sent a clear message to a man who is now facing 7 to 21 years in prison for child prostitution when they deliberated for less than half an hour.
The case stems from a child prostitution sting operation around the time of the Super Bowl. Paul Daniel Wagner was charged with and convicted of trying to buy sex from an undercover police officer posing as a 16-year-old girl.
Maricopa County Attorney Bill Montgomery said the quick conviction showed the jury’s priorities when deciding whether or not to put Wagner behind bars.
“Arizona will not tolerate this kind of behavior,” he said. “Someone wanted to go to trial, they tried to raise entrapment as a defense, it was rejected out of hand by the jury who returned a guilty verdict in 20 minutes.”
Montgomery said he believes this is the first jury verdict for this type of operation in Arizona.
“This is a first-hand demonstration now of our commitment in partnering with law enforcement to detour and then punish those who would engage in activity that contributes to the sex trafficking of minors,” he said.
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