A man has been sentenced to prison for trying to have sex with a 13-year-old girl who turned out to be an undercover detective posing as a minor online.
Pierce County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Arend sentenced 38-year-old Manuel Antonio Figueroa to four years Friday.
Figueroa pleaded guilty in 2016 to second-degree child molestation, communication with a minor for immoral purposes and second-degree promoting prostitution.
He was arrested in a sting operation after he contacted the undercover detective in an online chat room in December 2015, according to charging papers. He exchanged sexual text messages with the detective and arranged to meet for sex.
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He showed up and police were waiting to arrest him.
Friends and family wrote to the court after Figueroa’s arrest that he worked as a caregiver at an adult family home. His boss and the family of one resident told the court Figueroa was compassionate and patient with the seniors at the home.
Figueroa wrote to the court, and said: “I believe in my heart that I am not a danger, nor have I ever been a danger in my recent or distant past to the community I live in and support.”