Bend Police say a Terrebonne man chose to seduce the wrong Facebook friend.
Thomas Lee “Tom” Daly, 56, is facing sex charges after allegedly contacting a Bend Police officer who maintained a false Facebook account while working a separate undercover case.
Daly was arrested last month outside Timbers East with condoms, meth and jewelry in his car — hours after initiating a flirtatious conversation with a cop claiming to be a 17-year-old girl and allegedly setting up a night of sex and drugs, court records show.
Daly, who has a long criminal record including convictions for sex abuse and stalking, is being held without bail in Deschutes County jail.
His case highlights Bend Police Department’s little-known practice of luring men who would lure children into illegal activity.
At around 1 p.m. May 30, Daly reached out to one of his Facebook friends, a young woman with few photographs, according to records filed in Deschutes County Circuit Court.
The profile was in fact one of several developed by officer Josh Spano for investigative purposes. Spano looked Daly up and learned he was a registered sex offender.
Spano, posing as the girl, replied to Daly, saying the girl was 17.
“I don’t mind if you don’t mind,” Daly told her, according to court records. “Age is only a number.”
Spano told Daly the girl wasn’t very “experienced.”
“I’ll show you the ropes babe,” Daly allegedly said. “I’ll spoil your a--.”
A few minutes later, Daly allegedly told the girl “I’d love to have sex.”
Spano wrote the girl’s parents were out of town and invited Daly to the fictitious girl’s house in Bend. Daly said he could be there in three hours and asked if he could spend the night, according to court records.
He next asked the girl how she rated her body on a scale of 1 to 10. Spano sent a picture of a young woman in lingerie.
“Holy s--- you looking hot,” Daly allegedly replied. “I can’t believe some dude ain’t jumping all over you.”
Daly allegedly told the young woman he enjoyed using methamphetamine while having sex and suggested he bring some that night.
Daly and the undercover officer continued flirting and making plans via text message until Daly grew nervous, court records show.
“Something sound real fishy,” Daly wrote, court records say.
Minutes later, they continued their conversation, and Daly said he’d arrive in Bend shortly.
At 7:02 p.m., Daly wrote to say he’d just seen a police car near the girl’s house, and he was getting cold feet.
“I see this … on TV all the time, people get set up,” he wrote. “You too young but we can still be friends.”
Spano told Daly if he was nervous, the girl could pick him up at the Timbers East parking lot.
Police surrounded Daly’s car and arrested him when he arrived at the bar.
He’d told the young woman he’d be driving a white BMW, but officers located him in a beige 2003 GMC Sonoma registered in his name. Inside, police found condoms and a box containing jewelry. A drug-detection dog allegedly found a meth pipe.
Spano started reviewing their hourslong correspondence that day, and Daly cut him off.
“I told her — or you — that I did not want to have sex and that I just want to be friends.”
Spano told Daly by driving from Prineville to Bend, he’d taken a “substantial step” toward committing a crime.
Daly said he’d never have sex with anyone underage. He said he has friends who are 17 and “has never had an issue” and noted he’d been Facebook friends with the fake girl for “a while.”
Spano told Daly he didn’t seem deterred when he learned she was 17.
“Saying and doing are two different things,” was Daly’s response.
On June 5, a grand jury charged Daly with luring a minor, possession of meth and driving with a suspended license.
Two days later, a charge of encouraging child sex abuse was added against Daly based on an image police allegedly found on his phone.
Daly’s attorney, Lee Griffith, did not return a call seeking comment.
Daly was interviewed by police over several hours following his arrest. He said he wanted to help the girl “score some pot” and run other errands in Bend.
“Bottom line, I was not going to touch her,” he said. “I made the right decision.”
— Reporter: 541-383-0325, firstname.lastname@example.org