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Online chat leads to new arrest for man facing sex with minors charges

PALM HARBOR — Ryan C. Wilborn was already in trouble. Now it's deeper.

The 22-year-old was facing two charges in connection with what officials say was a sexual relationship he carried on with two teenage girls.

While waiting for those cases to wind through the court system, Wilborn used his computer to carry on a sexually explicit conversation with a minor whom he then arranged to meet, according to the Pinellas Sheriff's Office.

When Wilborn arrived at the rendezvous, somewhere in North Pinellas, the authorities were waiting.

It turned out that Wilborn had been chatting with an undercover detective. The detective got a tip in late July that Wilborn was communicating with minors online.

George Tragos, Wilborn's attorney, said the online conversations did not deal with any sexual activity.

In April, Wilborn was charged with lewd and lascivious battery and lewd and lascivious molestation for sexual acts officials said he engaged in with two underage girls.

Wilborn had been a volunteer band coach at Palm Harbor University High School. Authorities said he met the two girls through a relative and then built his relationships with them through the school.

One of their parents called the Sheriff's Office, which started an investigation. Detectives said Wilborn had sexual intercourse with the girls in a number of places including a grocery store parking lot and at the school.

"When the full facts are developed it will show the Sheriff's Office has exaggerated what happened," Tragos said at the time.

A 2004 graduate of Palm Harbor University High, Wilborn was enrolled at the University of South Florida. He was released from jail Monday night on $10,000 bail.

Jonathan Abel can be reached at or (727) 445-4157.

Online chat leads to new arrest for man facing sex with minors charges 08/19/08 [Last modified: Thursday, August 21, 2008 2:58pm]
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