A civil engineer for the Fairfax County government has been accused of soliciting sex from an underage boy online.
Francesco Lauretti, 46, of Vienna, was allegedly caught in a sting operation for a felony charge regarding computer solicitation. Police say he proposed sex with a minor under 15 years of age and was arrested March 30, about a week after the alleged offense.
Following an arraignment on March 31, the Fairfax County General District Court held a preliminary hearing last Wednesday (June 16) and moved the case to the county’s circuit court for a grand jury to determine if there is probable cause.
Lauretti has been on paid administrative leave from his job with the Fairfax County Department of Transportation since March 31 “pending the outcome of an ongoing internal investigation,” according to the county.
An attorney for Lauretti argued that he should be released without a bail stipulation that required him to not use the internet, a restriction that can be imposed on other defendants.
The attorney said in a court filing that Lauretti has been seeing telehealth providers virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic and an internet ban would also result in the defendant’s imminent unemployment.
His current attorney, Michael Sprano, said he did not have any comments to make presently.
The charge is a Class 5 felony that involves using a communications system or other electronic means to solicit “with lascivious intent” a person that the accused knew or had reason to believe was a child less than 15. If the offender is more than 7 years older than the child, as in this case, a conviction carries a minimum prison sentence of five years.
According to a court document filed earlier this year, Lauretti has a wife and kids.
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