Alleged child sex solicitation comes after multiple prior convictions
A 15-year-old girl who posted her photo and the message “Anybody want to go on a date 15f” on the app Whisper.sh was hoping to meet someone her age.
Instead she found a sex offender.
Through the app, the girl started chatting with a man who said he was 19, and a text message came later: “heyyyy love.”
She had met a Woodbury man with -- unbeknownst to her -- a history of criminal sexual conduct. Shawn David Langner, actually 25, allegedly solicited sex from the juvenile and suggested that she run away to Texas.
The Department of Homeland Security received a crime tip from one of the girl’s parents on Feb. 21.
Five days later Langner, a registered sex offender, was in Washington County District Court to face two felony charges -- soliciting a child to engage in sexual contact, and engaging in electronic communication describing sexual conduct with a child. His next court appearance is set for next week.
Woodbury Public Safety and the Washington County Attorney’s Office acted fast because Langner was previously convicted of: first-degree criminal sexual conduct as a juvenile in 2004; fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct as a juvenile in 2005; and fourth-degree criminal sexual conduct in 2014.
The court set Langner’s bail at $125,000 with conditions or $250,000 without conditions.
During a recent traffic stop, Langner told police his address in the 5000 Woodbury Drive.
State law requires neighbors to be notified of Level 3 sex offenders, but according to the Minnesota Department of Corrections, there are no Level 3 sex offenders living in Woodbury. Langner is not listed by name on the DOC website.
According to the complaint:
An officer from Woodbury Public Safety responded to the tip to find sexually explicit communication between the man and the girl. The man had sent a photo of himself to the girl and called her. Early in the investigation, police learned his first name and city of residence, as well as making the connection between the man’s home phone number and his local address.
The day after receiving the crime tip, the officer and a special agent from Homeland Security met with the girl, who said she exchanged messages with Langner via the app. The defendant talked about having sex and insisted on picking her up on the night of their interaction.
He also attempted to contact her via text message on Feb. 22, so police responded.
“I got in trouble and my dad took my phone away,” the officer text messaged, impersonating the girl. “Had to sneak my phone quick to send you a message. I have a textnow app on mu ipod if you still want to talk to me.”
“Hey its shawn from whisper,” Langner immediately responded to the phone number provided by police.
The man text messaged with the officer, attempting to convince the juvenile to run away, offering to “pay for home schooling,” describing the feeling of “making love to u,” and asking the girl to take nude pictures of herself for him.
Langner was arrested at his home in Woodbury.
Forensic search results are pending on two cellphones and a computer containing pornography.
Due to the defendant’s conduct and sexual predatory history, and related public safety concerns, high bail was requested.