Del. child predator unit makes arrests

 Steve Moore and Mark Cavill face stronger penalties under a new law signed earlier this year.(Del. Dept. of Justice)

Steve Moore and Mark Cavill face stronger penalties under a new law signed earlier this year.(Del. Dept. of Justice)

Two men who traveled to Dover-area locations to have sex with children are behind bars and now face stiffer penalties, thanks to a recently passed law in Delaware. 

Delaware Attorney General Beau Biden announced that separate undercover online investigations by the Delaware Child Predator Task Force led to their apprehension.

“The Child Predator Task Force is working to weed out the most dangerous predators – those who seek to sexually assault our children,” Biden said in a statement Wednesday.

In the first case, Steve Moore responded to the profile of a 13-year-old girl on an online social dating site. The Dagsboro man, however, was communicating with a task force detective posing as the girl. According to Delaware’s Dept. of Justice, Moore said “in explicit terms” that he wanted to meet to have sex with the girl and set up a location, date and time to meet.

The 49-year-old was arrested as soon as he arrived at Tidbury Park on South State Street in Dover, Wednesday. Moore was charged with one count of Sexual Solicitation of a Child Under 18 and four counts of Obscenity. 

In the second case, 51 year-old Mark Cavill of Bloomingdale, New Jersey, responded to the profile of a 14 year-old girl on an online social dating site. The DOJ said during several conversations with a task force detective posing as the girl Cavill indicated that he wanted to meet to have sex.

Once the location, date and time were set, Cavill was arrested last Friday when he showed up, as agreed, at a fast food restaurant on the 1700 block of North Dupont Highway in Dover. As a result of the investigation Cavill was charged with one count of Sexual Solicitation of a Child Under 18.

Both men’s homes were searched and investigations related to their cases are ongoing.

Stronger penalties

These two arrests are the first made under the strengthened penalties established by House Bill 256, which was signed into law last month. The legislation makes it a chargeable offense to sexually solicit a child online whether the suspect is soliciting an actual child or an undercover investigator posing as a child. The law also elevates the offense in cases in which the predator actually travels for “the meet.” 

“Thanks to legislation enacted this year which strengthens penalties against predators who travel to meet their victims we’re in an even stronger position to take them off the streets for longer periods of time where they can no longer hurt kids,” Biden said.

Delaware’s Child Predator Task Force was created in 2007. The unit has four undercover investigators and two prosecutors.

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