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SARASOTA MAN GUILTY OF SEEKING SEX FROM MINOR

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A FEDERAL JURY HAS FOUND 48 YEAR OLD TIMOTHY BIDWELL OF SARASOTA GUILTY OF USING THE INTERNET IN AN ATTEMPT TO INDUCE AND PERSUADE A MINOR INTO COMMITTING SEX ACTS.  U S ATTORNEY ROBERT O’NEILL SAID IN A MEDIA RELEASE THAT BIDWELL WAS ARRESTED BACK IN AUGUST AFTER HE TRAVELED FROM SARASOTA TO CLEARWATER TO MEET WHOM HE THOUGHT WERE A MOTHER AND HER TWO DAUGHTERS AGES 11 AND 14.  HE ACTUALLY MET UP WITH AN UNDERCOVER DETECTIVE WHOM HE WAS TALKING TO ON THE INTERNET.  THE ARREST WAS MADE AS PART OF OPERATION PREDATOR, A NATIONWIDE INITIATIVE TO IDENTIFY, INVESTIGATE, AND ARREST THOSE WHO PREY ON CHILDREN.  BIDWELL FACES A MAXIMUM PENALTY OF LIFE IN FEDERAL PRISON.  HE WILL BE SENTENCED ON MAY 6TH.