WEEKI WACHEE — At some point during an online chat Tuesday, authorities said, James William Healy floated a request for nude pictures of a 14-year-old girl.
Healy never got those pictures. Instead, he got arrested.
Healy, 26, of Weeki Wachee, was charged Tuesday with solicitation of child pornography after authorities say he asked an unidentified person for nude pictures of the person's teenage daughter.
According to an arrest report, Healy entered into an America Online chat room Tuesday using a screen name, had a conversation with the unidentified person and requested pictures of the person's child.
A short time later, the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children sent information about the conversation to the Hernando County Sheriff's Office. Authorities were able to determine that Healy was the person asking for the pictures.
Deputies then obtained a search warrant and entered Healy's home, seizing his computer along with other items. Healy told deputies that he didn't remember the chat with the unidentified person about their daughter or remember asking for pictures. He also said that whenever he received child pornography on his computer, he would delete it and "spam" the sender.
Healy was arrested late Tuesday and taken into custody at the Hernando County Jail. He remained there Wednesday in lieu of $20,000 bail.
Without going into specifics about the case, John Shehan of the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children said alleged perpetrators like Healy are usually apprehended through the federally mandated CyberTipline.
The Tipline requires Internet service providers to report any case involving child pornography, online enticement of children for sex acts or unsolicited obscene material sent to children, among other things, to the Alexandria, Va.,-based center.
From there, the center reviews the cases and reports them to the corresponding local law enforcement agency. Local authorities take over the investigation from that point, Shehan said.
"We essentially serve as the clearinghouse for information," Shehan said. "We try to be as quick as possible because the individuals might have access to live victims as well. Often time, things unfold in a matter of hours."
Since the Tipline was created in 1998, Shehan said the center has handled about 610,000 cases. Last week, Shehan said, the center received about 2,300 reports.
"We deal with these cases all day long," he said.
Healy has had legal trouble in Hernando before. He pleaded no contest to charges of violating a domestic violence injunction and aggravated stalking — a charge described in state records as "follow harass cyberstalk death injury" — in February 2004 and was sentenced to a year of probation. The probation ended in January 2005.
Joel Anderson can be reached at email@example.com or (352) 848-1432.