The second culprit in a case where a Chico couple used Facebook to try lure underage girls into sexual encounters was sentenced to time served plus 180 more days in the Wise County Jail.
Johnny M. Monroe, 24, of Chico, has been in jail since his arrest last September. Judge John Fostel also gave him 10 years’ probation, meaning that if he violates any of the rules of the probation, he will serve a 10-year prison sentence.Monroe faced up to 20 years in prison for the second degree felony. He already pled guilty to the crime and went to the judge for sentencing.
The defense stressed Monroe’s mental state, saying he had a low IQ and bipolar disorder and wasn’t on his medication when he committed the crime.
“He will be under supervision, and he must continue to take his medication at all times,” Fostel stressed. “If he were to violate terms of his probation nine years from now, he will have to serve the entire 10 years.
“I could sentence him to 12 years, but then he could get out in three and be out without supervision.”
His fianc e, Judy Caraway, 21, accepted a plea deal in July for two years in prison for “online solicitation of a minor with intent to engage in a sexual act,” a third degree felony that carried a two- to 10-year sentence.
The couple used Facebook and texting to try and entice a 14-year-old girl to participate in a m nage trois with the couple.
When the girl told her mother about her new “friend” on Facebook, the mother called the Sheriff’s Office. An investigator then posed as the young girl and continued the conversation via text with Monroe and Caraway. Arrangements were made to meet at Chico Park.
When Monroe arrived at the park on Sept. 30, instead of finding a 14-year-old girl, he found deputies and investigators waiting with handcuffs.
In the trial, the state presented two more underage girls who said they were targeted online by Monroe. A 16- and 15-year-old girl testified that they both received messages through Facebook from Monroe asking them to engage in a threesome. In both cases, the girls told their parents about the messages.
Assistant District Attorney Jay Latham was seeking a longer sentence for Monroe.
“We are asking you to give Mr. Monroe a 12-year sentence to send a message to the defendant and to others out there who would use Facebook to target victims,” Latham said. “Facebook is an avenue that allows predators a way to get inside our homes.”
Monroe becomes the third person convicted in the past year of using Facebook to target minors for sex or explicit material in Wise County.