A 44-year-old Minneapolis man was arrested in a police sting and charged Friday with contacting young baseball players in Crystal through Facebook and seeking to have sex with the boys.
Michael F. Hamer was charged in Hennepin County District Court with solicitation of a child for sex and possessing child pornography. Hamer was jailed in lieu of $200,000 bail.
Crystal Deputy Police Chief Stephanie Fealy said authorities are trying to determine whether Hamer has pursued boys in other communities.
"This is a good time for parents to review Internet safety with children and to discourage youth from engaging in chat and meetings with people they meet on the Internet," Fealy said.
Fealy added that police have yet to hear whether Hamer actually was present with any of the boys on the Crystal team.
According to the criminal complaint, the mother of a Crystal Little League player told police that her son and others on his team received Facebook friend requests from a man they didn't know named "Michael Hammer." The mother said the man also texted some of the boys.
Police found the man's Facebook profile and determined that the suspect was Hamer. Officers created a phony Facebook for a 12-year-old "Aron Patterson" and included that he was a Crystal Little Leaguer and listed a cellphone number that went to a detective.
"Aron" sent Hamer a friend request on Tuesday, and Hamer responded the next day. The Facebook chat between Hamer and "Aron" began innocently and then turned to questions of a sexual nature.
"Aron" then arranged to meet Hamer that afternoon at Becker Park in Crystal for a sexual encounter. Officers went to the park and arrested Hamer.