LITTLE ROCK-- A 37-year-old Ohio man admitted Wednesday to a federal judge he drove to Conway in May 2017 in anticipation of having sex with two children, only to meet up with an undercover officer who had pretended in online conversations to be the children's parent.
When he arrived at 5 a.m. May 3 at a meeting location, Jason Lawniczak was arrested by a Faulkner County Sheriff's Deputy who exchanged text messages daily with Lawniczak after claiming to have a 12-year-old daughter and a 9-year-old son who he would make available for sexual purposes.
Lawniczak contacted the undercover officer on an adult-oriented social networking site, and then provided his cellphone number, through which they communicated.
Lawniczak pleaded guity after being found competent to stand trial in a hearing earlier Wednesday, which followed his examination by mental-health professionals. He told Chief U.S. District Judge D. Price Marshall Jr. it was true when he was arrested, he carried a gift bag containing two bags of Skittles candy; a knife; a children's toy and a necklace; and also had sexual lubricant; a whip and paddle; two masks; two chain collars; and an anal plug in his vehicle.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Allison Bragg said in a text message April 17, 2017, Lawniczak asked the undercover deputy if there was anything he should buy for the girl, and the officer suggested Skittles.
In exchange for Lawniczak's guilty plea to a charge of attempted enticement of a minor, Bragg asked a second charge of traveling in interstate commerce for the purpose of engaging in illicit sexual conduct be dropped, and Marshall agreed.
Lawniczak at first told Marshall he didn't intend to actually have sex with children, saying he drove to Conway from Ohio because he wanted to talk to an adult about a business opportunity involving computers. But after conferring with defense attorney Brannon Sloan, Lawniczak told the judge, "Yes your honor, I did do that," referring to the allegations Bragg had read aloud.
Asked to state what he did that was illegal, Lawniczak replied, "I discussed a fantasy with an undercover officer to have sex with minors."
He is scheduled to be sentenced on Nov. 19.