COLUMBIA — A 19-year-old MU student was arrested Thursday afternoon on suspicion of attempted sexual misconduct involving a child, according to the Mid-Missouri Internet Crimes Task Force.
Andy Anderson, coordinator of the task force, said Reid Matthew Garcia, a junior at MU, is accused of showing his genitals via Webcam to whom he thought was a 13-year-old girl but who was actually an undercover investigator posing as a child.
Garcia was released after posting $500 bail. Anderson said Garcia will be charged and will have to appear in court. If convicted, Garcia could be sentenced to up to one year in a county jail or be fined $1,000. If the person on the Internet had been a child and not an investigator, Garcia could have been charged with a class D felony and sentenced to up to five years in jail or fined $5,000.
Garcia is the second person in Columbia to be arrested for this charge this year by the task force. Last year, 23 people were charged with the offense, four of whom were arrested specifically for this charge.
“Sadly, it is not uncommon,” Anderson said.
He says all of those arrested were in the Columbia area.
The task force is applying for a grant for two more full-time workers. Currently, three people work full time and one part time at the task force, which works in seven counties.