Man Arrested, Accused of Trying to Entice Minors
PARIS, Tenn. – A Kentucky man was arrested Friday after allegedly using social media and text messages to solicit minor females in West Tennessee.
According to a news release, Billy Ray Wyatt, 53, of Hazel, Kentucky, was taken into custody on a federal complaint, Friday.
Authorities said the investigation began after a student at Henry County High School notified School Resource Officers Sgt. Buford Taylor and Deputy Matt Liota she had been contacted by a person she originally thought to be a woman, but turned out to be a man.
The student stated that she had been originally contacted through the social media website meetme.com.
According to court documents, contact with the teen began when she was contacted by a person on the website that was listed as a female. As conversations continued, the female suggested she meet a teenage male named “Billy.” Eventually, “Billy” arranged a meeting with the teen and she stated that he appeared older than the originally stated age of 16-17.
Upon investigating, deputies suspected that “Billy” was Billy Ray Wyatt. The teen reportedly identified Wyatt from a photo line-up.
In February, officials set up a fake profile for a 15-year-old girl on the website and were contacted a couple of weeks later by a person who stated they were an 18-year-old female from Murray, Kentucky. In April, investigators were contacted by the person claiming to be an 18-year-old woman. During an exchange of text messages, it was suggested that the 15-year-old girl meet with a man named “Billy” and participate in sexual contact. Investigators believe that the “Billy” in this contact was Billy Ray Wyatt.
Sheriff Monte Belew said, "We believe this individual is a dangerous predator, and, with the assistance of the other agencies, Investigator Gary Vandiver is prosecuting Wyatt federally. We hope to keep this dangerous individual off the streets for a long time."
Anyone believing they might have information relevant to the investigation is asked to contact Investigator Gary Vandiver at 731-642-1672.
Wyatt is expected to make appear in U.S. District Court in Jackson on Monday, July 1.