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Retired US Army major faces Net pedo charge

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A retired US Army major who directed emergency communications for the White House has been charged with attempting to have sex with two young girls. Idaho retiree John Davis got caught in an Internet sting operation when a mother who told him he could have sex with her daughters, aged twelve and fourteen, turned out to be an undercover police officer. Davis was arrested on 23 March after arriving in San Diego, California to meet the woman and arrange the illicit encounter. Davis indicated in e-mails and phone conversations that "it was his lifelong ambition or dream, or words to that effect, to have sex with young ladies of this age," San Diego County deputy district attorney Rick Clabby said at the arraignment. Davis faces twenty years' imprisonment if convicted on all counts. The remainder of his arraignment is delayed until 20 April while his lawyer mounts an attack on the laws leading to his arrest. "We would have pleaded not guilty the other day, but these attacks have to be entered before the plea," defence lawyer Peter Hughes said. "In the event of a national emergency he would have been fully responsible for White House Communications, and would have travelled with the President to a relocation centre, to direct all information service requirements and base operations for the duration of the emergency," the lawyer noted. The judge was persuaded to grant US $500,000 bail. Davis retired in 1994 as Director of Emergency Actions for the White House, after twenty years' service in the Army. ®

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