Anthony Brinkman, a 32-year-old Missouri resident, was arrested and jailed on Friday after bringing his 11-year-old daughter to meet someone who responded to a Craigslist ad he posted soliciting help to beat and sexually assault his daughter.
According to the St.Louis-based TV station KMOV, Brinkman, of Cuba, Mo., ended up meeting an undercover police officer that night. The sting took place after a tipster saw the Craigslist ad and flagged it as “abuse,” activating an alert that was sent to the Missouri Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Brinkman and the undercover agent, who posed as a 27-year-old woman, made contact at a Cracker Barrel in St. Louis, roughly 48 hours after the Craigslist ad was posted. Before meeting, the two had agreed that if they got along, the woman would become Brinkman’s “girlfriend” and the two would assault his daughter together with sex toys at his home in Cuba, Mo.
St. Louis County Detective Mike Slaughter, who made the arrest, told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch that while he wasn’t initially shocked by the Craigslist post, the fact that Brinkman arrived at the meeting spot with his daughter in tow surprised him.
“It’s just a lot of talk for most of these guys, but this guy actually brought (the girl) to the scene to go ahead with the next step of enacting it,” Slaughter said. “If we hadn’t gotten involved and someone bad had gotten in touch with him, something bad would have happened to that little girl.”
Slaughter said Brinkman also sent the undercover officer photographs of his daughter. He also asked for her help finding the girl a boyfriend. Investigators say they don’t currently believe Brinkman sexually assaulted the girl, but added that he may have had child pornography on his computer. As of this article, they were waiting on a forensic analysis of his computers.
“Isn’t your first thought, ‘Am I going to get caught?’ and ‘Are people just going to sit by and say this is OK?’” Slaughter said. “But sometimes the Internet gives you a false sense of security.”
"It's the most disgusting thing you can think of that somebody would take a child, an innocent, innocent child and do something like that, it's inconceivable. It's just sickening," Barkley Rogers, a customer at the Cracker Barrel said.
“He said he was sorry and that he was stupid,” Slaughter. “But you don’t let it go that far if you don’t have intentions.”
Brinkman remains in jail on $100,000 bond and faces charges of attempted statutory sodomy. The child was initially taken to police headquarters, but Slaughter said that she would be taken in by relatives.