A convicted sex offender from McMinnville faces child exploitation charges after he tried to solicit who he thought was a 14-year-old girl to have sex with him, the teen girl turning out to be an undercover Internet crimes officer.
The suspect, David Eli Cramer, 50, of Dogwood Pointe, was arrested on Valentine’s Day when he showed up at what he thought was the Morristown residence of the girl. However, instead of “the girl” who he had been speaking with in a chatroom and on cellphone texts for weeks, he found lawmen waiting with federal warrants to arrest him. He now stands charged with attempted enticement of a minor for sexual purposes, attempted production of child pornography, and, after a search of his home here in McMinnville, possession of child pornography.
According to the federal indictment, Cramer began chatting with the undercover officer in January after coming across “her” in a chat room on the Internet. The chat soon turned to Cramer saying he was interested in her.
“Our ages are far apart but you’ve got me interested,” Cramer told the officer during one of their chats, admitting he thought he was talking to a 14-year-old girl from East Tennessee. “Give me a chance and maybe you’ll fall in love.”
Cramer then turned the subject matter to sex and exchanged cellphone numbers with her so they could text. Some of his texts were graphic with him describing his planned sexual encounter. He also said he wanted to take naked pictures of her when they met.
“Would you let me take a picture of you naked so I can look at it when we are apart?” Cramer posed during one of his texts, sending the girl pictures of himself which investigators were able to match to Cramer.
All during the chats lawmen were building their case and then learned he was already a convicted sex offender listed on the state sexual offender registry. He had been convicted in 2007 for exploitation of a 13-year-old girl in Cleveland. He had been living in McMinnville since 2009.
Cramer sealed his fate, and the day he lost his freedom, by suggesting a Valentine’s rendezvous with the teen girl.
“Whatever date you choose wish it was on Valentine’s Day so we would never forget our first date,” Cramer prophetically messaged to the undercover agent.
Given his prior status as a convicted sex offender and the stiff penalties which he faces in federal court, he could get what could amount to a life sentence. McMinnville Police Department worked with Morristown authorities on the case.