Louisa – Commonwealth's Attorney Tom Garrett announced today that Irvin "Pete" Baldwin, 81, Mechanicsville, was convicted on three counts of soliciting sex from a minor on November 23, November 30 and December 4 of 2009.
At the trial, the deputy Commonwealth attorney Rusty McGuire argued that the defendant's graphic sexual conversations, his instructions to the minor to erase the records of their conversations and his appearance in Louisa at his requested meeting time and locations established his intent. The jury took less than 15 minutes to convict him and recommended the maximum sentence allowed under the law of 90 years in prison, 30 on each count.
"Justice was served today in a Louisa courtroom. Children are safer in the Commonwealth today because of the hard work of the Louisa County Sheriff's Office as a member of the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force and Detective Patrick Siewert" said Garrett.
At sentencing, McGuire argued for a substantial sentence due to the defendant's past history as a pastor, Sunday school teacher, business owner and lack of criminal record. While Baldwin's attorney argued these were positives, McGuire stated "the defendant was living the American Dream and if anybody knew better it was and 81 year old with his background. Instead he chose to steal the innocence of what he thought was a 13 year old child."
The defendant will be formally sentenced on November 15, 2010 at 9:00 a.m.