A Jefferson City man accused of attempting to entice a child over the internet and attempting to sexually exploit a child was arrested Tuesday, according to a news release from the Boone County Sheriff's Department.
Authorities identify the suspect as Carter Ballmann, 24, of 708 Cliff St.
He was taken to the Cole County Jail, where bond was set at $100,000.
The investigation leading to his arrest began after Ballmann allegedly responded to a post made by an undercover decoy from the Boone County Sheriff's Department Cyber Crimes Task Force who was masquerading as a 14-year-old girl.
The department reports the decoy and Ballmann exchanged online messages in which he requested that the girl sneak out of her home and provide him with nude pictures.
Officers in the task force served a search warrant Tuesday at Ballmann's Jefferson City residence and took him into custody at the Missouri Capitol where he worked as a legislative assistant in the office of Rep. Mark Matthiesen, R-Maryland Heights.
Matthiesen issued the following written statement today about the case: "I am stunned and deeply concerned by Carter Ballmann's arrest and the extremely serious nature of the criminal charge filed against him. While I think it's important to allow the legal system to determine his guilt or innocence, I have made the immediate decision to end his employment with my office. I have provided complete cooperation with law enforcement in this matter and will continue to do so going forward. Out of respect for the ongoing investigation and the legal process, I will not comment further."
During the investigation, the task force was assisted by the Jefferson City Police Department and Capitol Police.