Child Sex Sting Nabs NASA Ames Engineer

A South Bay man who works at NASA's Ames Research Center is arrested in Florida.

By Chris Roberts
|  Wednesday, Jun 13, 2012  |  Updated 6:54 PM PDT
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Phil Luna, 54, of San Jose, was one of 38 men arrested in Central Florida during

NBC Bay Area

Phil Luna, 54, of San Jose, was one of 38 men arrested in Central Florida during "Operation Cyber Child," in which sheriff's deputies in Polk County, posed as children online to lure potential predators. NBC Bay Area's Arturo Santiago reports.

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The girl wasn't real. The prison term will be.

Phil Luna, 54, of San Jose, was one of 38 men arrested in Central Florida during "Operation Cyber Child," in which sheriff's deputies in Polk County, posed as children online to lure potential predators, according to the San Jose Mercury News.

Luna, who works as an engineer at NASA Ames research center, answered a Craigslist ad titled W4M "what's happening," the newspaper reported. A sheriff's deputy pretended to be an 11-year old girl and her mother, who was looking for "fun" for her daughter, the newspaper reported.

After traveling to Florida to allegedly participate in an unspecified sex act, Luna was arrested and charged with "attempted sexual battery of a victim under 12, travel to entice a parent or guardian to commit sex act with a child and travel to meet a minor for sex," the newspaper reported.

Operation Cyber Child was a 10-day undercover operation conducted by the Polk County Sheriff's Office, as the Central Florida Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force Coordinator, the newspaper reported.

Luna was caught on tape talking to the deputy who pretended to be the child, discussing sex acts, the newspaper reported. When police asked him why he would talk sex with a child, Luna said it was a mistake, the newspaper reported.

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