Man snared in video vigilante sting sentenced to probation

Man caught by video vigilante sentenced

GRAND RAPIDS, MICH. (WZZM) - One of seven people snared by a “video vigilante’’ as part of a clandestine sex sting operation was sentenced Thursday to three years' probation after pleading guilty in July to a reduced charge of attempted accosting of children for immoral purposes.

The case against Brett William Chaffin of Grandville is the fourth to be resolved with either a conviction or plea. Trials are pending in three other cases.

Chaffin is the second youngest of the defendants charged earlier this year with accosting children for immoral purposes based on video shot by a young man posing as a 15-year-old girl.

More: Prosecutor asks vigilante to stop luring men looking for child sex

Earlier: GRPD: 7 arrested after man poses as child to try exposing predators

Video vigilante Zach Sweers – posing as a minor, met with Chaffin and six others between Dec. 26 and mid-February. Sweers recorded the confrontations, turning the information over to police.

Chaffin had online contact with what he believed to be a teen girl and arranged to meet her for an encounter “sexual in nature,’’ he said during a July plea hearing before Kent County Circuit Court Judge Dennis Leiber.

“I had engaged with what I thought was a 15-year-old girl and when I arrived, it was Mr. Sweers,’’ Chaffin said.

The February encounter took place at Richmond Park on the city’s Northwest Side.

In exchange for his plea, prosecutors dropped the more serious charge of accosting children for immoral purposes, a four-year felony, and agreed not to charge Chaffin with using a computer to commit a crime.

He had faced up to two years in prison.


(© 2016 WZZM)


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