Court: Sex offender enticed child through text, pictures

tstevens@ledger-enquirer.comApril 18, 2014 

Travis Cerbin

Probation officers didn't search long before finding suggestive text conversations on an Old Dominion Road sex offender's phone Thursday, according to court testimony.

Travis Cerbin, 30, faced charges of enticing a child and sexual exploitation of children during a Friday morning Recorder's Court hearing. According to a sex offender website, Cerbin's original offense in 2008 was statutory rape.

Police searched Cerbin's iPhone 4 and computer during a routine sex offender probation check at about 10:30 a.m. In addition to child pornography pictures on Cerbin's computer, officers said they discovered text conversations with a girl between the ages of 11 and 13.

According to court testimony, in one conversation, Cerbin repeatedly confirmed the child was 11 years old. After requesting the girl's bra size, police say he asked if she "wanted to hook up with a really hot 30 year old."

The preteen sent several nude photos to Cerbin, the officer said.

Cerbin made no statements to police during the search.

Both Cerbin's computer and iPhone were seized for further examination. They have been forwarded to the GBI crime lab.

After Attorney Richard Hagler argued that his client's bond be set at a "reasonable amount," Judge Michael Joyner set Cerbin's bond at $20,000.

"The point of a bond is not to punish you or say you did something really wrong," Joyner said. "The point is to guarantee that the defendant will show back up in court. Since the defendant has family in the area and hired a private attorney, I felt reasonably assured that will happen."

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