CRYSTAL, Minn. - A 44-year-old Minneapolis man faces multiple charges after he tried to contact members of the Crystal Little League via Facebook, according to the Crystal Police Department.
"I was on my son's facebook and noticed a message from this person," said Marcie, a mother of a little leauge ballplayer in Crystal. "He had sent my son a message asking to go to a movie at the Mall of America."
It was Marcie that helped tip off police. On Monday, Marcie, along with the league's safety officer reached out to police after noticeing the same man had contacted over a dozen players via Facebook.
"As soon as I saw the conversations, I called 911," said Sue Norling, the safety officer with Crystal Little League.
On Friday, the Hennepin County Attorney's Office charged Michael Hamer with two felony counts - solicitation of a child to engage in sexual conduct and possession of pornographic work involving a minor.
"It's absolutely horrific what went on here," said Crystal Police Deputy Chief Stephanie Fealy.
Crystal police say a sting was held and Hamer was taken into custody this week.
According to the criminal complaint, police created a fictitious Facebook profile of a 12-year-old boy who played in the Crystal Little League. On Tuesday, police posing as the boy reached out to Hamer.
In the chat, police identified themselves as a 12-year-old boy. Hamer said he was 25-years-old. He also invited him to go to a Twins game, the movies or a hotel room to go swimming, the complaint said.
The conversations then turned sexual in nature. At one point Hamer asked if he could see the boy naked, according to the criminal complaint.
A meeting was set up in Becker Park in Crystal, the complaint said. When police confronted Hamer with transcripts of text messages and Facebook chats, the defendant confessed that he had written the messages. He also admitted that he had reserved a hotel room at the Holiday Inn near the Mall of America for the meeting, according to the complaint.
Police said they searched Hamer's home, which he shares with his mother. Officers searched the basement of the home. They found a video camera with a memory stick that contained photographs of juvenile boys fully nude and in provocative positions, the complaint said.
"Obviously this is a terrible crime that he's committed here and what we're really looking to find is if there are more victims out there," Fealy said.
After notifying police, the Crystal Little League also passed along the warning to other area little league organizations.
"You have to know what your kids are doing on Facebook," says Marcie. "This is a warning to our district and all parents. You have to know their password."
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