Platte County prosecutors have accused a Liberty lawyer of sending lewd comments in emails with someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl.
Jerome Michael Patience, 39, of Independence is charged with engaging in an explicit online chat with the “girl” for nearly a month in 2016. The “girl” was an undercover detective posing as the victim.
Patience is charged with crimes including attempted sexual exploitation of a minor, sexual misconduct, and furnishing pornographic material to a minor. He is being held in the Platte County Detention Center in lieu of $30,000 bond.
According to court documents, Patience began chatting with an undercover officer on May 24, 2016. The two allegedly chatted until June 22, when either Patience or the “girl” mentioned her age nine times.
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During their conversations, Patience said sexually suggestive things and indicated that he wanted to meet the girl. However, Patience said he was afraid to meet with her because it was illegal, and he would lose his job and his family, Platte County Prosecutor Eric Zahnd said in a statement.
He also allegedly wrote that he did not know where they could meet, “that I can trust that it doesn’t get me arrested.”
Investigators were able to locate the law office from where Patience conducted the online chat. He told the girl that he only sent the emails while he was at work and not during evenings or weekends.
Prosecutors allege that Patience urged the girl to take suggestive photos of herself. He also allegedly sent a photo of himself, Zahnd said.