Sting target files appeal on verdict

news_court_greenBy JB Clark

Daily Journal

OXFORD – Garry Waddle filed a motion Tuesday asking the U.S. District Court to acquit him of his child enticement conviction or grant him the opportunity of a new trial.

The 66-year-old was convicted by a federal court jury Feb. 25 and is currently awaiting sentencing.

His appeal argues he has no history of inappropriate contact with minors and the personal ad to which he responded was on a website which required users to verify they are 18 years of age or older before entering.

He was the most recent to go to trial from a group of more than a dozen men charged in a sex-sting operation out of Lee County.

The sting involves a law enforcement officer posing as a 15-year-old female on the Internet. The online persona lures the men to meet her.

Waddle’s appeal argues the subject of sex and meeting was broached before any mention of age, that the photo of the girl officers posed as seemed to indicate the user was between 17 and 21 years old and that there was never actually a minor involved.

He is appealing because, the appeal claims, the verdict goes against the overwhelming weight of the evidence.

The minimum sentence for anyone found guilty of child enticement is 10 years in prison and can be up to life in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

jb.clark@journalinc.com