CITIZEN SEX STING: Man confronts Tomahawk sex offender in online - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

CITIZEN SEX STING: Man confronts Tomahawk sex offender in online sting

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TOMAHAWK (WAOW) -

A New Lisbon man confronted a sex offender from Tomahawk after pretending to be a 15 year-old girl and arranging a meeting in a Mauston McDonald's. 

The incident happened in January, but charges were filed against Charles Eugene Becker on Aug. 21. 

According to court records, a man posed online as a teenage girl and began to chat with Becker, a repeat offender of sex crimes against children. 

Becker sent a nude picture of himself to the decoy and arranged a meeting in Mauston, according to the criminal complaint. 

In a 90-second video posted on Facebook, a female adult decoy is sitting with Becker before the man behind the sting confronts him. 

By the end of the video, Becker gets up and leaves the table, being followed closely by the photographer who took a picture of his license plate. The video was turned over to the Lincoln County Sheriff's Office and charges were filed. 

"I was tired of reading in my local paper about child molesters in my area," said the man behind the sting. "I knew the dangers of what could possibly happen to me. I was nervous." 

"[We] certainly encourage citizens to help out law enforcement whenever they can," said Lt. Tim Fischer with the Lincoln Co. Sheriff's Office. "Citizens need to be aware of the danger they might be facing." 

Sex stings conducted by law enforcement have been on the rise in Wisconsin, but now citizens are taking steps to combat sex crimes against children. 

Although not a police sex sting, retired defense attorney Bill Mansell said that the video evidence and chat logs collected by a citizen could hold up better in a court of law. 

"No police involvement, there is no argument that it's entrapment," he said. 

Charles Eugene Becker has been convicted of sexual assault on a child in the 1990's. 

After the incident in January, Becker was taken into custody on a revocation. 

Becker is charged with use of a computer to facilitate a child sex crime. That charge also has a persistent repeater enhancer. 

If convicted, Becker faces a mandatory minimum of life in prison.

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