A Gordon County youth minister who also managed a frozen yogurt shop was sentenced to eight years in prison for trying to solicit sex from a person he presumed was a teenage boy.
Zachary Michael Baker, 29, was sentenced Tuesday after pleading guilty to criminal attempt to commit aggravated child molestation, sexual exploitation of a child by use of a computer and obscene internet contact with a child, the Rome News-Tribune reported.
According to the newspaper, Baker thought he was chatting with a 14-year-old named Aidan, but was actually speaking with Floyd County police Capt. Ojilvia Lom when he arranged to meet the teen for oral sex.
Authorities began the undercover sting after Baker reportedly posted a Craigslist ad seeking other men to experiment with.
The sweetFrog yogurt shop manager was arrested in January after showing up at a location to have sex with the teen.
Prosecutors said Baker didn’t initially ask for sex, but slowly “groomed” the teen by building a relationship with him.
At one point, Baker asked “Aidan” if his mom could bring him by the yogurt shop so they could see each other and Baker could make sure the teen wasn’t a law enforcement officer, according to the news report.
Baker’s attorney sought a reduced sentence since his client didn’t have previous arrests and there wasn’t actually a minor involved, the paper reported. He argued that Baker works two jobs, attended 16 weeks of group therapy and is a part of a men’s support group.
The 29-year-old was sentenced to eight years in prison followed by 17 years on probation. Once he’s released, Baker must register as a sex offender.
In other news: