Fenton City Park is where authorities say Robert L. Payne approached an undercover police officer who was posing as a teen.
In federal court today a 77-year-old Fenton man pleaded guilty to soliciting nude photos from an undercover police officer he believed to be 16 years old.
In March 2021, Robert L. Payne drove to Fenton City Park where he continuously parked and re-parked his car so that he could watch the Lindbergh High School boys' lacrosse team practice.
The following day, Payne showed back up at the park and, according to a statement from the U.S. Attorney's Office, "tried to engage about 10 to 12 young males in conversation near the basketball courts."
About a week later, a St. Louis County police officer posing as a 16-year-old played basketball at the park. Payne struck up a conversation with the undercover officer, and in short order, Payne offered to perform oral sex on the man he believed to be 16. Payne also gave the undercover officer his contact information.
Payne then repeatedly contacted the officer and requested nude photographs.
Payne was charged in March 2021 and pleaded guilty to one felony charge of solicitation of child pornography today. Payne will be sentenced in November, when he could receive up to 20 years in prison.
In 2018, Payne pleaded guilty to harassment charges stemming from similar conduct that occurred at Minnie Ha Ha Park in Sunset Hills.