Crime

Key West convict a no-show at sentencing

A Key West man facing up to 20 years for trying to meet up for sex with a 13-year-old girl didn’t show up for his sentencing Wednesday and a judge issued a warrant for his arrest.

William Baker, 42, was convicted April 19 of two counts of obscene communication after undercover agents lured him with a craigslist ad promising sex with a minor girl on March 2, 2016.

Baker testified at trial he knew it was a police sting and showed up at the Key West Burger King only to taunt the cops and waste their time. Prosecutors said Baker believed he was on his way to meet an underage girl for sex. The jury took about 90 minutes to return guilty verdicts at the Monroe County Courthouse.

Baker faces up to 20 years in prison and a lifetime of registering as a sex offender. Judge Wayne Miller on April 19 allowed Baker to remain free before sentencing if he turned over his passport and the bondsman agreed to stay on the bond of $225,000.

The State Attorney’s Office objected to the release.

After waiting from 1:45 to 3 p.m. Wednesday for Baker, Miller issued an arrest warrant with no bond allowed. Investigators and agents involved in the case were in court, according to prosecutors.

Baker can’t say he wasn’t warned that taking steps to have sex with a minor is illegal.

The original craiglist ad posted by Special Agent Daniel Wise of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security office in Key West warned not to contact “sassyprincess305 at Google” because the girl in a flagged post was a minor.

A second man caught in the same sting, Craig Harfield, 61, of Big Pine Key, was sentenced in January to one year and 9 months in state prison. His release date is Oct. 27, 2017.

Gwen Filosa: @KeyWestGwen

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