JEFFERSON COUNTY, Ind. — A jury in Jefferson County found a Kokomo man guilty of child solicitation and attempted sexual misconduct with a minor.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Rick Deck, 58, of Kokomo, was originally arrested as the result of an undercover sting operation aimed at finding sexual predators.

Investigators say in September of 2020, Deck started chatting with someone online who was depicted as a 14-year-old female.

When asked about the girl’s age during the online exchange, Deck said, “sure I like little girls.”

Deck talked to the profile for more than a week and engaged in what the prosecutor’s office called “very sexually graphic conversations” about what he would like to do to the child.

Eventually, Deck made plans to travel from Kokomo to meet the profile at the Broadway Fountain in Madison, Indiana in mid-October of 2020.

The prosecutor’s office says Deck messaged the profile around the scheduled meet-up time in order to get directions to the fountain.

When he arrived at the fountain, he started talking to a female who was actually an undercover officer.

Deck was arrested, and police found a sex toy, similar to one he described in a message, when searching his vehicle. Officers learned he was driving while suspended with a prior conviction.

In addition to the sex-related charges, Deck was also found guilty of driving while suspended.

“I appreciate the Jury’s service, and am pleased with this outcome. Sexual predators are a tremendous threat to our children and I’m glad the jury followed the evidence and returned a guilty verdict,” said Prosecutor David R. Sutter.

“Children are vulnerable to falling victim to these predators who are very cunning and manipulative. I urge parents to talk with their children about being safe online and never, ever agreeing to meet someone they don’t know.”

Deck is due to be sentenced on May 23. He faces up to 32 years in prison.