Man accused of assuming dead teen's online identity

Sunday, July 8, 2007

ST. PETERS, Mo. -- A 19-year-old man accused of assuming the online identity of a dead 14-year-old girl has been charged with promoting child pornography and sexual misconduct.

Dennis Michael Conlin Jr., of St. Peters, was charged Friday with five counts of misdemeanor sexual misconduct. Police said he was accused of approaching girls in three separate incidents from his pickup truck since June 24.

He also faced felony charges on accusations that he assumed the Internet identity of a local 14-year-old girl after her death and sent nude photos of the girl to other people in an attempt to get more pornographic images, police said.

In that case, police said Conlin initially created fictitious Internet profiles, posing as a young lesbian to get nude photos of other young girls. One of the photos was of the 14-year-old performing a sex act, police said.

When the girl died, Conlin assumed her online identity. He sent her picture out to other people earlier this year, police said, and was charged with promoting child pornography. Police did not identify the girl or say how she died.

Conlin was held Friday at the St. Charles County Jail on $100,000 cash-only bail.

St. Peters police Lt. Rick Gerger said Conlin came to their attention during the investigation of another child pornography case. Police realized he resembled the suspect who had approached the girls, and they knew Conlin had a small pickup, a 1993 blue-green Ford Ranger like the one the girls described.

Detectives brought Conlin in for questioning Thursday, Gerger said.

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