A Chaska lawyer was charged with allegedly attempting to solicit sex from a 12-year-old after he was caught in a Department of Homeland Security sting.
The Ramsey County Attorney’s Office on Aug. 3 charged Mark Allen Lichtenwalter of Chaska with one count of prostitution and one count of soliciting a child (or believed to be a child) through electronic communication to engage in sexual conduct. Lichtenwalter is a real estate attorney, according to his Avvo listing online and other sources.
The Chaska resident thought he was texting the father of a 12-year-old girl before he was arrested on Aug. 1, the court files state.
On July 30, an undercover Homeland Security agent posted an advertisement on a social media site known to attract people looking for illicit photographs and sexual services, according to the criminal complaint.
“The post read, ‘Never have I ever felt guilty about being attracted to younger.’ The post provided basic demographic information about the undercover persona,” the complaint says.
Four minutes after the post was published, the agent allegedly received a message from Lichtenwalter, who used the name Seth Bullock. He allegedly asked the agent “How young” and later sent explicit messages.
Then the agent told Lichtenwalter he had a 12-year-old daughter, according to the complaint. Lichtenwalter allegedly asked if he engaged in sexual activity with his daughter and if she had been with others sexually and reportedly later told the undercover agent what he wanted to do with the child.
The two discussed renting a hotel room for a sex exchange between the child and Lichtenwalter and made arrangements to meet at a St. Paul hotel on Aug. 1, the complaint states.
Lichtenwalter allegedly said he would bring gifts for the 12-year-old, such as body paint, makeup, balloons and massage oil.
“Lichtenwalter also wanted to take the 12-year-old bikini shopping and panty shopping at a lingerie store, saying he would buy her clothes if he could watch her in the dressing room,” the investigation states.
The agent tracked Lichtenwalter to a retail store in Minnetonka and received text messages from him of blue Umbro shorts, makeup, baby oil, balloons and lip gloss, the complaint states. Lichtenwalter allegedly asked if he thought his “daughter” would like those gifts. Lichtenwalter was then observed purchasing the items.
The morning of Aug. 1, Lichtenwalter and the agent resumed texting and the agent informed him he had rented a room at a hotel in St. Paul, the complaints says.
“Lichtenwalter stated he had to get condoms and gas before he arrived at the hotel,” court records state.
He was immediately placed under arrest at about 11 a.m. and was observed as having his pants unzipped and not wearing underwear, the court documents say. He had child-sized Umbro shorts, eye makeup, baby oil, a bag of balloons, glitter lip gloss and condoms, all of which were seized by authorities.
He is scheduled to appear in Ramsey County District Court at 1:20 p.m. Aug 22 for a hearing, according to court records.