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Man suspected of arranging sex with minor just left prison on similar charge

Updated April 6, 2022 - 11:39 am

A Las Vegas man arrested Thursday on allegations that he arranged to have sex with a minor had been released from prison earlier this year for a conviction on a similar offense, according to federal authorities.

Both times, James Wynhoff was nabbed in sting operations in which officers posed as teenage girls, an FBI agent wrote in a criminal complaint.

Furthermore, Wynhoff, who walked out of prison on Jan. 18, did not report to authorities that he had created an account on Kik, an internet-based messaging app, something he was supposed to do under his probation terms.

Unbeknownst to Wynhoff, he initiated contact with a Metropolitan Police Department detective, first asking for age, sex and location, the complaint said.

When he was told he was messaging a 15-year-old Las Vegas girl, Wynhoff allegedly replied: “‘Yummy” and “I love teens,” the agent wrote in the complaint.

In an explicit conversation, the suspect agreed to pay $100 for sex, the complaint said.

Wynhoff was taken into custody after he showed up to an address provided by the detective, the complaint said. He is facing a federal count of attempt sex trafficking of children.

Wynhoff had just began a 20-year probation period after a 2019 conviction of interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct, federal court records show.

In 2018, Wynhoff also used the Kik app to message a Utah law enforcement officer, who had pretended to be a 13-year-old girl.

The teenager was “too young for me,” Wynhoff wrote at one point, according to a complaint in that case.

Still, Wynhoff persisted with explicit conversation, eventually agreeing to travel to St. George, Utah, to have sex with the girl, the complaint said.

He was arrested after he arrived about 3 a.m. on Nov. 18, 2018, the complaint said.

Wynhoff denied interacting with a minor and said he was only out on a drive because he could not sleep despite taking insomnia medication, the complaint said.

But officers found incriminating messages and photos Wynhoff had sent the undercover decoy when they searched through the three cell phones found on him, the complaint said.

After a 2019 guilty plea, he was sentenced to four years in prison, and ordered to receive “sex-offender” and substance abuse treatment, according to his sentencing memorandum.

His attorney said on court documents that Wynhoff had suffered sexual abuse as a child and had become addicted to opioids following a motorcycle crash, the memo said.

The attorney wrote that he was not raising his client’s use of insomnia medication as a defense, but that the fact that Wynhoff had mixed it with alcohol around the time of his 2018 arrest can explain why he had acted “out of character,” the memo said.

Wynhoff went through a psycho-sexual evaluation before he was sentenced, the memo said.

“(His) likelihood of being charged with another sexual offense is about the same as other individuals whom have similar histories and offense patterns,” Wynhoff’s attorney wrote, quoting from the report. “Although the statement is not particularly enlightening, it would be safe to assume that with appropriate treatment and supervision, that risk can be reduced,” the attorney wrote.

Wynhoff does not have a listed attorney for the latest case.

Contact Ricardo Torres-Cortez at rtorres@reviewjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter @rickytwrites.

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