Michael Hamer used Facebook to solicit Twin Cities little leaguers for sex, police say
|Police aren't yet sure whether Hamer pursued boys in communities besides Crystal.|
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Marcie is the mother of a boy who plays little league baseball in Crystal. About a week ago, she logged onto her son's Facebook account and noticed a strange message in his inbox from a man named "Michael Hammer."
The man had asked Marcie's son to join him for a movie at the Mall of America. Marcie's creep-dar went off, and she called police. After conducting a sting operation, police arrested 44-year-old Michael Hamer last week. He's been charged with solicitation of a child for sex and possessing child pornography.
Marcie talked with other parents and realized that Hamer had sent friend requests to a number of players on her son's team. He had even texted some of them. Alerted to the situation by Marcie, Hamer's behavior aroused the suspicions of police, who then created a fake Facebook account for a 12-year-old little leaguer named "Aron Patterson."
Patterson friended Hamer and the two talked via Facebook chat the next day. The conversation soon went in a sexual direction, with Hamer at one point asking the boy if he could see him naked, according to the criminal complaint. Hamer and Aron agreed to meet that afternoon at a park in Crystal, where police arrested him.
During questioning, Hamer admitted that he had messaged a number of little leaguers. He also said he had reserved a hotel room at the Holiday Inn near Mall of America in hopes of taking Aron back there with him.
Hamer still lives with his mother in Minneapolis. Police searched the home, and in the basement they found a video camera with a memory stick. The stick contained photographs of juvenile boys nude and in provocative positions, and police are now working to identify them.
Stephanie Fealy, deputy chief of the Crystal PD, told KARE 11: "Obviously this is a terrible crime that he's committed here and what we're really looking to find is if there are more victims out there."