A former Staunton police officer pleaded guilty Tuesday to soliciting a child online. Police arrested John Nuckolls in an online sex sting last spring, now he will spend five years behind bars. Nuckolls is a retired Staunton police officer who also served as a school resource officer for a time.
Police say in May Nuckolls began chatting online with someone he thought was a 14-year-old girl. After a series of steamy conversations, he tried meeting up with the fake young teen and was instead arrested at the meet-up location.
The 55-year-old pleaded guilty to two charges of attempted indecent liberties with a minor and soliciting a child using the Internet.
The prosecution credits the Staunton Police Department with preventing abuse. "It’s certainly difficult and concerning when you have someone who is in charge of protecting kids who ends up being charged himself with committing acts that are dangerous to children," Staunton Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Anne Reed stated.
Nuckolls will be under supervised probation when he's out of prison. The judge also said he may not have unsupervised contact with minors from now on. He is also expected to maintain good behavior as well upon his release.
Nuckolls has a right to appeal this verdict.
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