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[whitespace] Sting nets man who allegedly tried to lure boy for sex act

Meet takes place at store near Los Gatos High School

Los Gatos--The 7-11 store on E. Main Street is usually an after-school hangout for Los Gatos High School students. But on the evening of April 22, it was the scene of an arrest of a man who allegedly thought he was meeting a boy for sex.

San Jose police arrested Lester Bernard Decker, 55, on a $1 million warrant for solicitation to commit child molestation. According to a press release issued by the San Jose Police Department, Decker is charged with two counts of attempting to send harmful materials to a minor via the Internet and one count of attempted child molestation.

Decker, who lives in Watsonville, is an outdoor education teacher at the YMCA Camp Campbell in Santa Cruz County.

A San Jose police officer, working undercover, had posed as a 13-year-old boy and communicated with Decker online. Decker and the officer had discussed "lewd and lascivious" acts during an online chat and set up a meeting at the 7-11, after which they planned to go somewhere else to perform those acts, according to police.

Los Gatos-Monte Sereno Sgt. Tim Morgan said his department's involvement was only in the surveillance of Decker. Officers, including two from the LG-MSPD, followed Decker as he left his Watsonville home and arrived at the 7-11. After the arrest, San Jose police executed a search warrant of Decker's house.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Department had initially provided information about Decker to the San Jose Police's child exploitation unit. The two agencies worked together on an investigation of Decker, who reportedly went by the name of "friendlynightowl" during his online chats.

Police are asking anyone with information pertaining to this case to contact San Jose Police Detective John Martorano at 408.277.4120, or, for those who want to remain anonymous, to call Silicon Valley Crime Stoppers at 408.277.STOP.
Gloria I. Wang

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Web extra to the May 3-9, 2001 issue of Metro.

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