Convicted child sex offender Donald Gary Town appeared in Missoula Justice Court on Wednesday via video from the Missoula County Jail to hear charges that he attempted to lure who he thought was a 14 year-old boy for sex.

Missoula Police Department Public Information Officer Travis Welsh said Town was arrested Tuesday night, after an investigation that began several days ago.

"Mr. Town is charged with sexual abuse of children, and that's related to an investigation that began earlier this week, and culminated when he showed up at about 7 p.m. last night to meet who he thought was going to be a 14 year-old child," Welsh said. "As it turned out, he was met by detectives who had been the ones actually communicating with him. He was placed under arrest and taken into custody."

Public Information Officer Travis Welsh

According to court documents, detectives spotted an ad on Craigslist looking for sexual encounters with young males. An undercover detective with the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force responded to the ad, posing as a 14 year-old boy. Town is a convicted sex offender on parole.

At Town's court appearance, Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jessica Finley asked Justice of the Peace Karen Orzech for a high bail.

"The defendant is a tier three sexual and violent offender," Finley said. "He has significant criminal history, including sex offenses with children. He's a danger to the community so the state is asking that bail be set at $50,000, and that conditions include no contact with anyone under the age of 18, and no weapons."

Deputy Missoula County Attorney Jessica Finley

photo by Peter Christian

Judge Orzech doubled Finley's request and placed Town in the Missoula County Jail on $100,000 bond.

The punishment for felony sexual abuse of children is up to 100 years in prison, and a fine of up to $10,000.