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Public Safety, Virginia

Virginia man pleads guilty in undercover Norfolk child sex sting operation

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A 26-year-old man pleaded guilty on Thursday to three felonies after he attempted to commit indecent liberties with a 13-year-old girl who turned out to be an undercover Norfolk police officer.

Kenneth Ryan Tressler, 26, pleaded guilty to using a computer to procure a minor for obscene material, solicitation of prostitution from a minor under age 16 and attempting to commit indecent liberties with a minor under age 15 — all felonies.

In exchange for Tressler’s plea, the Commonwealth agreed to dismiss additional counts of those offenses.

According to court records, on April 17, 2023, Tressler responded to an anonymous social media post written by an undercover Norfolk Police officer posing as a 13-year-old.

The post was not sexual in nature, but Tressler asked the undercover officer if she was interested in having a sexual encounter, and the undercover officer responded that she was 13 years old. That did not deter Tressler, and he continued conversing with the undercover officer nearly every day for the next month.

Tressler repeatedly offered the undercover officer money in exchange for oral sex and other sexual activity, and he arranged to meet with the undercover officer on May 16.

After Tressler arrived at the location where he had arranged to meet the undercover officer, investigators arrested him.

The plea agreement leaves the sentence in the hands of the sentencing judge.

Judge Tasha D. Scott accepted Tressler’s plea agreement and set his sentencing for Oct. 11.

Crystal Graham

Crystal Graham

Crystal Abbe Graham is the regional editor of Augusta Free Press. A 1999 graduate of Virginia Tech, she has worked for nearly 25 years as a reporter and editor for several Virginia publications, written a book, and garnered more than a dozen Virginia Press Association awards for writing and graphic design. She was the co-host of "Viewpoints," a weekly TV news show, and co-host of Virginia Tonight, a nightly TV news show. Her work on "Virginia Tonight" earned her a national Telly award for excellence in television.