UPDATE: Moorhead man accused of paying to have sex with young girl pleads guilty

James Vanraden mug
James Vanraden mug(Cass County Jail)
Published: Jul. 20, 2020 at 10:30 AM CDT
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FARGO, N.D. (Valley News Live) - A Moorhead man accused of spying on and taking photos of a young girl, and paying to have sex with another has pleaded guilty to federal charges.

47-year-old James Vanraden has agreed to plead guilty in federal court to attempted sex trafficking of children and two counts of distributing child pornography. He faces the rest of his life in prison.

Court documents say in Dec. 2019, Vanraden responded to an ad on Craigslist which was looking for a tutor for a 10-year-old girl. The ad was posted by West Fargo Police as part of a proactive investigation, documents say.

During the conversation, Vanraden told the ad poster that he had a ‘very taboo mind,' and admitted to liking bestiality and underage kids. The suspect told the man behind the Craigslist ad that he would like to ‘deflower’ the 10-year-old girl and asked how much it would cost him, to which he was told $500. Vanraden allegedly said he was excited he finally found someone who was willing to sell their daughter for a night.

Documents say in other conversations Vanraden told the ad poster that he was spying on another young girl, and sent multiple photos of the victim’s private parts that he took through a hole in a door. Vanraden then allegedly sent a video of him spying on the young girl, and also admitted to taking a video of the young girl using the bathroom in previous months.

Vanraden later sent a $200 deposit to the ad poster for the meeting with the 10-year-old girl, documents say.

Officers were able to trace the IP address used in the Craigslist chats to Vanraden’s Moorhead home. On July 16, officers conducted a search warrant at his home and interviewed Vanraden. Documents say Vanraden admitted to sending nude pictures of a young girl through the app, ‘WhatsApp,' as well as admitted to having child porn on his phone.

Vanraden previously owned iCare Electronic Repair in Fargo, but sold the business in 2019.

A sentencing date has not yet been set.

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