ANDERSON — An Anderson man was arrested after he was recorded on video by witnesses who said he came to an Alexandria store intending to have sex with a 15-year-old girl.
The probable cause affidavit states that Clifford M. Pierce III, 46, 900 block of Woodlawn Drive, met a 20-year-old woman through the “Skout” dating app and also a “Text Now” app. The woman, a member of Predator Catchers Muncie, told Pierce she was 15 years old and the two agreed to meet in Alexandria, according to the affidavit.
Members of Predator Catchers Muncie confronted Pierce and live-streamed the encounter on Facebook before contacting police.
Pierce was arrested Monday by Alexandria police on preliminary charges of sexual misconduct with a minor, a Level 4 felony, and a misdemeanor charge of operating a vehicle without financial responsibility.
Pierce left the store, was stopped by Alexandria police and agreed to be interviewed by officers.
During the interview, Pierce said he believed the woman identified by the name “Stacey” was 15 years old and that he traveled to Alexandria to have sex with her.
Pierce told police he thought “Stacey” might have been an underage prostitute and was willing to pay $40 to have sex with her.
The probable cause affidavit said Pierce was “grateful” that officers intervened before he had sex with a 15-year-old.
The court records show that Pierce sent the woman nude photographs of himself and in the text messages he acknowledged her to be 15 years old and discussed having a sexual encounter.
Madison County Prosecutor Rodney Cummings said he hadn’t heard of Predator Catchers Muncie.
The group was also involved in the arrest of Fairmount resident Gordon Cook, 50, on Sunday by Elwood police for allegedly attempting to have sex with a 14-year-old girl.
The prosecutor’s office was given 72 hours to file formal charges against Cook on Monday. He was arrested on preliminary Level 4 felony charge of child solicitation and a Level 6 felony charge of dissemination of matter harmful to minors.