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Man Charged in Computer Crimes Sting Pleads Not Guilty

Joseph Stinnett, 24, of Niantic faces charges of criminal attempt at impairing the morals of a minor, criminal attempt at enticing a minor and obscenity. He appeared in court Thursday.

Man Charged in Computer Crimes Sting Pleads Not Guilty

The Niantic man charged with enticing a minor through a series of Internet and phone chats in an Avon undercover police sting operation pleaded not guilty Thursday at Hartford Superior Court.

Joseph Stinnett's case has been moved to the pre-trial docket for the Part A division of the court that hears higher crimes. His next scheduled court appearance is March 4.

Stinnett, 24, remains in lock-up on a $75,000 court-set bond.

Earlier this month, .

Stinnett contacted an individual in a Yahoo Messenger romantic chatroom who was immediately identified to him as a 15-year-old girl, police said in a court affidavit. Unbeknownst to him, that person was a police officer conducting an undercover investigation. During a series of chats over the course of a few days, he made several sexually explicit comments and referenced making plans to meet the 15-year-old female persona, the court documents stated.

At the time, he was employed as a chief estimator for TMP Construction in East Lyme.

More information will be provided as it becomes available.

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