PROVIDENCE, R.I. (WPRI) — A Providence man was convicted Tuesday for attempting to have sexual relations with a 10-year-old girl.
According to the US Attorney’s Office, a federal jury found Thomas Hammond, 52, of Providence guilty of one count of attempting to persuade, entice, induce or coerce a minor to engage in illicit sexual activity.
Evidence presented at Hammond’s trial revealed he responded to an advertisement in the “casual encounters” section of Craigslist back in June 2017, which was posted by an undercover detective with the Rhode Island Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
Prosecutors said during a three-day period, Hammond had communication with a man he believed to be the step-father of a 10-year-old Warwick girl. They said during one discussion, Hammond asked the man if he was sexually abusing his daughter, and proposed he join in the abuse at an upcoming pool party.
Hammond, who is a real estate agent in Providence, agreed to meet the step-father at a parking lot on Post Road, where he was subsequently arrested.
The US Attorney’s Office said during the trial, Hammond claimed he is gay with no sexual interest in female children. He also testified that he receives sexual gratification from talking to straight men who talk about sexually abusing children.
Despite his testimony, the jury rejected Hammond’s claim.
Hammond, who is currently being held at the Wyatt Detention Center, is scheduled to be sentenced in November. He faces up to 30 years in prison, lifetime supervised release and a $250,000 fine.