Michael Engler: Boy Scout Volunteer Arrested In Undercover Sting For Coercing Minor Into Sex
Somewhere, Chris Hansen is smiling.
Michael Engler, a 50-year-old Boy Scouts of America volunteer, was arrested last week for trying to coerce a minor into having sex.
The St. Charles man had unknowingly been emailing an undercover detective who was posing as a fourteen-year-old boy. Thinking he was meeting the boy for sex, Engler had arrived at an ice rink in Brentwood on October 16, where he was confronted by police and taken into custody.
The undercover sting involved the St. Louis County Police Department, the FBI, the United States Secret Service and the St. Charles County Cybercrime Unit.
On Thursday, federal prosecutors charged Engler with attempting to persuade, induce,
entice and coerce a minor to engage in sexual activity. Citing his public defender, the Post Dispatch reports that Engler plans to fight the charges.
However, an affidavit filed with the federal charges paints a detailed (and incredibly disturbing) picture of Engler's actions leading up to the arrest.
According to the affidavit, an undercover detective had posted an ad to Craigslist's "Casual Encounters" section on October 8, initially posing as an eighteen-year-old M4M (male looking for male) who was "looking for a teacher to learn from."
Engler responded to the Craigslist ad under the name "Bob Onya," and he continued corresponding even after the detective informed Engler that he was actually fourteen years old.
At one point, Engler told the "fourteen -year-old" that he volunteered with the Boy Scout's "Venturing" program, saying: "I get to hang out with young shirtless guys, and some of them wear Speedos under their wetsuits."
After agreeing on a time and place to meet, Engler's messages to the undercover detective became even more explicit, writing that he would "Definitely want to go through the ABC's of a good blow job" once they met.
Christine Dieckmann, a spokeswoman for the St. Louis-area Council of the Boy Scouts of America, confirmed in a statement that Engler had been a volunteer leader with the Venturing program -- a co-ed development program for high school-aged youth. The statement reads, in part:
We were disgusted to learn about the allegations against this individual. The abuse of anyone, especially a child, is intolerable and our thoughts and prayers go out to those who may be a victim of this type of reprehensible behavior.
Upon learning of these allegations this individual was immediately removed from Scouting and has been permanently banned from participating in the Scouting program
The [Boy Scouts of America] seeks to prevent child abuse through a comprehensive program of education, chartered organization leader selection procedures, criminal background and other checks, barriers to abuse and prompt mandatory reporting.
Here's the full affidavit.