‘Need help, taboo interest’: Man accused of using Craigslist ad to solicit sex with a child

NORFOLK — A 26-year-old man is facing two felonies after police say he used a Craigslist ad to try to solicit sex with a child.

Steven Lee May is charged with attempting to solicit prostitution from a minor under the age of 16 and sexual offense with a minor via a computer. If convicted, May could face between six and 40 years in prison.

The Norfolk Police Department got a tip on June 3 that someone on Craigslist was soliciting sex with children in an ad titled “Need help, taboo interest – m4m.”

The advertiser asked people to contact them if they knew of a child between the ages of nine and 14 that the advertiser could “play” with, according to documents filed in Norfolk Circuit Court.

Police believe May was the advertiser who posted the Craigslist ad.

An undercover police officer emailed May via Craigslist and asked him to download Wickr, an instant messaging application that allows users to send text, pictures and videos. In a chat, the officer said she could bring May a 12-year-old boy and asked May what he wanted to “play,” court documents show.

May said that he would pay $150 to have sex with the boy. May sent the undercover officer several pictures of himself, and agreed to meet the 12-year-old boy on June 23 on Military Highway so they could go to a nearby hotel, according to court documents.

He also told the officer he’d be driving a black Honda.

When May showed up to the location, he sent the officer a text through Wickr saying he was there. He was arrested soon after.

When police searched his car, they found $160 in cash, a bottle of lubricant and several condoms in the car’s glove compartment, court documents show.

May was released from the Norfolk City Jail on bond on July 5. He is scheduled to appear in Norfolk General District Court on Aug. 16

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Adrienne Mayfield is an award-winning, multi-media journalist hailing from Clermont, Fla. She moved to Lynchburg, Va. on a whim when she was 19, and worked her way to Hampton Roads in 2013. Adrienne is passionate about telling people stories via covering public safety and the judicial system. She isn’t afraid to take a heads-on approach to covering crime, including knocking on doors to get the details police aren’t sharing. Adrienne is a 2014 Old Dominion University graduate who still lives within walking distance of the college. You may see her cruising around Downtown Norfolk on her bike, enjoying a sandwich from Grilled Cheese Bistro or playing fetch with her dog, Greta, at the Colonial Place dog park.