Sarasota man sentenced to life after soliciting sex with teen

William Heagney
William Heagney(SCSO)
Published: Jun. 24, 2022 at 3:33 PM EDT
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UPDATED July 28 with life sentence.

SARASOTA, Fla. (WWSB) - A Sarasota man was sentenced to life in prison Wednesday after being convicted last month of sending pornographic images to and attempting to meet with a girl he thought was a 14-year-old girl, prosecutors say.

A Sarasota County jury convicted William Heagney in June of traveling to seduce, solicit or entice a child to commit a sex act, use of a computer to seduce, solicit or entice a child to commit a sex act, attempted lewd and lascivious battery of a victim between 12 and 16, and 88 counts transmission of material harmful to minors.

In September 2019, investigators posing as a 14-year-old girl made contact with Heagney, who was 41 at the time. Over the course of internet conversations, he sent 88 images of pornography to encourage her to engage in sex, even though the child repeatedly mentioned that she was only 14.

Heagney traveled two hours and parked his truck miles away, riding a bicycle to the decoy house set up by police. Upon arrival, he was immediately taken into custody, prosecutors said.

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