TAMPA — Raymond Roland Collette tried to satisfy his foot fetish on Craigslist.
The 40-year-old St. Petersburg man placed 17 ads in the past three years, authorities said, saying he wanted to smell the feet of women. A March ad said, "Seeking to worship sneakers."
As a 13-year-old, Collette plotted for two years to steal a girl's sneakers, his psychiatrist told police in 1985. Other girls reported the mysterious loss of their footwear. The psychiatrist said Collette put rusty nails in one girl's sneaker, put it on the lawn of her house and called her to say where she could find it.
But Collette's bizarre fascination with feet led to his indictment Tuesday on a federal charge of trying to entice a minor to have sex. Collette, whom authorities said was media director of the City on the Hill Church in St. Petersburg, was arrested last month and is being held without bail.
A call to the church Wednesday was not returned.
A woman, identified only as K.K. in court documents, responded to one of Collette's ads in March.
Collette, according to Pinellas County sheriff's detectives, was posing as a woman with the online identity of "April Love," and indicated he might be willing to pay for the opportunity to smell someone's sneakers.
K.K. told "April Love" she had a 4-year-old daughter. Collette then "expressed (his) wishes to worship (the girl) while she is wearing her sneakers," an Homeland Security Investigations affidavit said. Collette, still posing as a woman, sent K.K. a photo purportedly showing "April Love" with a 10-year-old niece.
Collette suggested they "trade children sometime," court records say.
K.K. called the Sheriff's Office, and one of its detectives got her permission to assume her online identity to continue communicating with Collette.
Authorities said they soon learned that the picture Collette had sent to K.K. had been taken from the Facebook account of a woman at his church. Detectives discovered Collette's real identity.
That church member, contacted by authorities, said Collette had once told her he was trying to get her daughter a job modeling sneakers.
As the undercover detective, posing as K.K., communicated with Collette online, Collette's talk quickly escalated to talk of having sex with K.K.'s child, authorities said.
Speaking of K.K.'s daughter, authorities said Collette wrote, "I would like to worship (her) sneakers while she wears them, teach her to worship mine."