39-year-old Stockton man accused of arranging to meet, rape 9-year-old girl

Deputies say this case in particular is disturbing because the suspect thought he was negotiating with a parent to allow their child to be sexually abused.
FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- The Fresno County Sheriff's Office has arrested a Stockton man who allegedly expressed a desire to rape a 9-year-old girl.

Detectives with the Central California Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force say 39-year-old John Plappert unknowingly contacted an undercover detective, and said he wanted to meet the little girl and rape her while the detective watched.

"We're there to feel out - exactly who are these people? Are they serious? And in this case, we got Plappert, who's willing to drive 130 miles just to fulfill this desire that he has. It's sick and disgusting," says Tony Botti with the sheriff's office.

Detectives say they met the suspect on a social media website. Plappert struck up a conversation - only he didn't know that on the other side of the keyboard was a cop.

Deputies went with things to find out his plans and whether he would actually follow through.

He then made a plan with undercover deputies to have sexual relations with a 9-year old girl.

Deputies say this case in particular is disturbing because the suspect thought he was negotiating with a parent to allow their child to be sexually abused.

But they say John Plappert didn't have a problem with it.

Investigators say he requested the parent watch the criminal act.

They knew he was serious when he drove to Fresno from Stockton for the meeting.

But once he got to the meeting spot, there was no child. Instead, there were detectives awaiting his arrival.

"This guy is six feet tall, 300 pounds, I mean can you imagine this monster actually getting his hands on a 9-year-old girl? It was a good thing we were in a position to stop him before he could really do it," says Botti.

Plappert is not a registered sex offender. But he does have a criminal past, which includes indecent exposure and soliciting a prostitute.

The arrest marks the second similar one this week. On Tuesday, deputies arrested 26-year-old Christopher Contreras for making an online agreement to meet for sex. It was his second arrest in less than three months. He's facing charges of rape, arranging to meet a minor for sex and committing a felony while out on bail.

Deputies have seen a major spike in sex crimes targeting minors during the pandemic, so they have ongoing operations to target sex predators.

As for Plappert, he's facing two felony sex counts. He remains in the Fresno County Jail with bail at $35,000.
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