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Ex-Red Sox player arrested in undercover sting after arranging to meet girl for sex, sheriff says – Boston 25 News | #childpredator | #onlinepredator | #sextrafficing

JACKSONVILLE, Fla. — A former Boston Red Sox pitcher was recently arrested in an undercover child predator sting after authorities say he solicited an underage girl for sex and then traveled to meet her.

Austin Maddox, 33, of Jacksonville, Florida, is charged with traveling to meet after using a computer to solicit a child, solicitation of a child via computer to engage in sexual conduct, unlawful use of a two-way communication device, and producing or promoting performance which included sexual performance by a child, a Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office arrest report indicated.

Jacksonville Sheriff T.K. Waters said that Maddox was arrested in “Operation Valiant Knights,” an undercover online sting where 27 men solicited sex over the internet from who they believed were children, Boston 25′s sister station Action News Jax reported.

Maddox chatted with someone who identified herself as a 14-year-old girl on the website “Skip the Games,” continued the conversation via text message, and arranged a place to meet for sex, according to the arrest report.

Investigators say Maddox “expressed a desire to commit lewd acts” and after learning the girl’s age he allegedly said, “That’s young, baby. I get in trouble for that. You can’t even drive. You gonna stay with me all night?”

Maddox was arrested by members of the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office when he arrived at the prearranged meeting location on April 28. Officials noted that Maddox suffered injuries while being taken into custody.

“Former Major League Baseball player Austin Dean Maddox resisted arrest until our K9 got involved,” a sheriff’s office spokesperson said in a video that showed a group of law enforcement officials hiding in waiting before tackling Maddox to the ground.

Undercover detectives posing as children chatted with the men who were arrested, including Maddox, “who committed to engaging in sex acts with purported minors,” Waters said. He added that the objective of the sting was to “identify and arrest suspects who solicit children to engage in sexual acts using electronic devices.”

Maddox appeared in 13 games for the Red Sox during the 2017 season, posting a 0.52 ERA in 17.1 innings of work. He spent most of his career in the minors.

Several law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Homeland Security Investigations, assisted the Jacksonville Sheriff’s Office with this investigation.

When asked for comment on Maddox’s arrest, a Red Sox spokesperson told Boston 25, “I don’t have anything for you on this.”

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