PERVERTED JUSTICE: Justin Shaffer Sentenced to 25 Years - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

JACKSON, MS (WLBT) 08/14/08

PERVERTED JUSTICE: Justin Shaffer Sentenced to 25 Years

By Marsha Thompson
 marsha@wlbt.net

Two years ago WLBT News went undercover with Hinds County lawmen and members of Perverted Justice as they set up a sting operation to catch suspected on-line sexual predators. 12 men were arrested.  Now another man caught in the string has been sentenced to prison.

July 2006, a sting operation is set up at a Byram home. A Perverted Justice operative posed as an on-line decoy, 12-13 and 14 year old girls allegedly home alone for the weekend. Some on-line chat rooms are considered playgrounds for sexual predators. Numerous men initiated hits on the decoy, among them, 31 year old Justin David Shaffer of Neely, Mississippi in Green County.

Shaffer logged on as cowboy39461, and solicited sex with a girl he thought was only 13. We obtained 70 pages of his Internet chat. His chat turned into action. He drove to Jackson to have a sexual encounter with an underage girl. While others showed up on the doorstep of the byram home. Shaffer was elusive. He insisted the teen meet him in a vacant parking lot. Police were waiting. WLBT caught the sting on camera.

Lawmen found condoms and a knife in his van. We later learned Shaffer had a lengthy criminal history including rape, capital murder, sexual battery and kidnapping. Shaffer was held on 1 million dollars bond.  Shaffer's sister says he was acquited on the first rape charge.  That he spent 9 years in prison on the murder charge and it was later overturned by the Mississippi Supreme Court.  The case was later dropped by the District Attorney's office.

After more than 2 years, Shaffer has been convicted of felony child exploitation. It took a Green County jury about an hour to find him guilty Wednesday. Shaffer was sentenced to 25 years in jail, and will serve every day. Green county officials tell us he joins the ranks of others on Mississippi's sex offender registry. He was also required to pay a 50-thousand dollar fine.

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