A Mountain View man accused of using a dating website to lure a 12-year-old girl into a sexual encounter faces anywhere from a year to three years of incarceration following a plea deal he made last month.
Sean Michael Muilenburg, 47, pleaded no contest Nov. 19 to a felony charge of lewd and lascivious activity with a person under 14. A second, sexual assault charge stemming from the same incident has been dismissed. He is scheduled to attend a Jan. 16 hearing at which Santa Clara County Probation Department officials will present a report about the potential risk Muilenburg could pose to society.
A judge will use the report to decide Muilenburg’s sentence, but he must register as lifetime sex offender no matter what punishment he receives, said O’Bryan Kenney, the prosecutor of the case, last week.
The May 13 disappearance of a 12-year-old Sunnyvale girl prompted law enforcement investigation of Muilenburg, according to a Mountain View Police Department report. Detectives learned the missing girl had been texting with someone who lived in the 500 block of Chesley Court in Mountain View, and that’s where they intercepted Muilenburg as he returned after dropping off the girl near her own home. Officers arrested him after confirming he had engaged in non-consensual acts with the victim. He was booked into the Santa Clara County Jail but eventually posted his $100,000 bail.
Muilenburg and the girl initially met through the dating website Adult Friend Finder, Kenney said.
“Find Local Hookups Online,” the Campbell-based business advertises.
Anyone who uses adult dating sites should be aware that insisting ignorance of a child’s age is not a plausible or excusable defense for engaging in sexual activity with a minor, Kenney warned.
“It doesn’t matter which of these dating sites you use; it’s incumbent on people to be aware of the age of the person they’re interacting with,” he said.