ATLANTA — A Catoosa County prosecutor told the Georgia Supreme Court that a man accused of using the Internet to solicit sex with a child should be convicted again after his original case was overturned.
Last March, the Georgia Court of Appeals reversed the conviction of Dennis Cosmo, who got caught in an undercover, “To Catch a Predator”-style sex sting. But this morning, Assistant District Attorney Alan Norton argued that the court of appeals misinterpreted the law.
Police arrested Cosmo in 2010 after he exchanged a series of emails, text messages and phone calls with a member of the Northwest Georgia Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force. Posing as a mother named “Amber,” the undercover agent told Cosmo he had a 14-year-old daughter, and Cosmo mentioned he was interested in having sex with the girl. The girl did not actually exist.
After a local jury convicted Cosmo on five counts in 2010, though, the court of appeals ruled last year that Cosmo should not have been convicted on one of those counts. Concerning the other four charges, the court ruled that Cosmo deserves a new trial.
Appeals Judge Michael Boggs wrote that a computer pornography charge against Cosmo should have been thrown out because he never actually talked to the theoretical girl, only the girl’s parent.
But today, Norton argued this is not the correct way to interpret the law. The code section in question reads that it is illegal to solicit a child online or attempt to solicit a child online. Telling a mother you want to have sex with their 14-year-old daughter is an “attempt” to solicit, Norton said.
The Supreme Court has until the middle of July to rule on this case.