MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A 45-year-old man has been sentenced to four months in the workhouse after pleading guilty to soliciting Little League baseball players through Facebook.
Michael Francis Hamer pleaded guilty in September. He was arrested in July after investigators were alerted that he was trying to make physical contact with children he contacted online.
Hamer was also sentenced to probation and sexual offender treatment on Friday. He will have to register as a sex offender for the next 10 years.
During his five year probationary term, he is not allowed to have contact with minors, nor “loiter around ballparks, swimming pools, schools, amusement parks or other places where young children gather and could not use a computer or the internet without the approval of his probation officer, who could then search the computer to see what he was doing.”
Earlier this year, police set up a fake profile to catch Hamer, who at the time still lived at home with his mother in Minneapolis.
Investigators then set up a fake Facebook profile intended to give the impression that it belonged to a 12-year-old boy named “Aron.” They did this after a number of boys on the Crystal Little League baseball team said they had received friend requests from a stranger named “Michael Hammer.”
After Hamer became Facebook friends with the fake profile, he began inquiring about sexual topics, according to the criminal complaint. Though the officer running the fake Facebook account tried to steer the conversation away from sexual topics, the complaint says that Hamer continued to ask whether “Aron” would like to meet up.
Police then arranged to arrest Hamer after he agreed to meet “Aron” at a park in Crystal. He admitted he had reserved a room at a metro area hotel and asked if he could write a letter of apology to the parents of “Aron.”
Investigators searched Hamer’s room in the basement of his mother’s house and found a memory stick containing pictures of underage boys in provocative positions.
“He could have sought help before committing this act,” Hennepin County Attorney Joshua Larson said. “A strong message must be sent.”