COLUMBUS — A 35-year-old Columbus man who a district court judge said engaged in an ongoing online relationship to “groom” what he believed was an underage girl for a sexual encounter has been sentenced to prison.

Platte County District Court Judge Robert Steinke sentenced Adam Wurdeman to two to four years in prison for attempted sexual assault using an electronic device in connection with the online relationship the defendant struck up on Facebook with a police investigator posing as a 15-year-old girl.

Wurdeman pleaded guilty to the charge in October.

Steinke said the defendant’s online messages to the investigator discussed setting up meetings that would involve sex and marijuana and alcohol use.

“You’re fortunate it wasn’t a 15-year-old girl or you would have likely committed a more serious offense,” the judge told Wurdeman.

The local man was previously sentenced to prison terms in 2003 for attempted burglary and 2013 for second-degree forgery.

According to court documents, a Columbus Police sting operation began in late April when the defendant contacted the Facebook account to make a friend request. The account portrayed a 15-year-old girl living in Columbus.

In the weeks that followed, according to court records, Wurdeman asked the teen’s age and told her his age. The defendant and undercover investigator continued to exchange online messages throughout May, with Wurdeman attempting to arrange meetings on two separate occasions.

After agreeing to a meeting June 19 in the area of 27th Avenue and 16th Street, Wurdeman was arrested following a traffic stop. His cellphone was broken prior to the officer making contact with him.

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Reporter

Jim Osborn is a news reporter at The Columbus Telegram.

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