Louisiana man arrested in Biloxi on attempted sex charge

A Louisiana man who traveled to Biloxi to have sex with a child has been arrested on a charge of attempted sexual battery, officials said.

Richard Berner, 46, of Metairie, was taken to the Harrison County jail Wednesday on a $50,000 appearance bond set by Justice Court Judge Albert Fountain.

An investigation by the Gulf Coast Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force showed Berner traveled to Biloxi to meet with someone he thought was a mother with a 13-year-old so the child could perform oral sex on him, said Sgt. Donnie Dobbs of the Biloxi Police Department, which is the prosecuting agency.

Items seized during the arrest included a box of condoms and an Apple iPhone, he said.

“Berner’s arrest was the culmination of a week-long investigation where Berner communicated via cell phone, and the Internet, with undercover officers where he expressed his desire to have sex with a child,” Dobbs said.

The ICAC Task Force is comprised of the Naval Criminal Investigative Service (NCIS), Immigration and Customs Enforcement/Department of Homeland Security (ICE), the Air Force Office of Special Investigations (AFOSI), the Biloxi Police Department, the D’Iberville Police Department, the Harrison County Sheriff’s Department, the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department, the Long Beach Police Department, the Mississippi Attorney General’s Office, the Ocean Springs Police Department, and the Waveland Police Department.