By Patsy R. Brumfield
ABERDEEN – Bradley Gilmore of Potts Camp went home a free man Tuesday, found not guilty of attempting to entice a minor for sex.
Gilmore’s verdict may be a first in a years-long sting operation by the Lee County Sheriff’s Department seeking out sexual predators using an officer trained to “portray” a female on the Internet.
The trial before Senior U.S. District Judge Neal B. Biggers began in Aberdeen on Monday.
Gilmore’s attorney, Christopher Kitchens of Ripley, said he and his client were very gratified by the verdict.
“He gets to go on with his life,” said Kitchens, who convinced the jury that Gilmore, 24, was entrapped during his months-long electronic conversation with the deputy, whom he believed to be an interested female.
Kitchens said he abhors the allegations, but that the sting and prosecutors “could be more thorough about whether a person intends to have sex with a minor.”
More than a dozen others have been charged, pleaded guilty and sentenced to at least 10 years in prison on similar indictments in the region.