Crime

Update: Graphic details, emails released in child sex-case arraignment

Gregory Dodd
Gregory Dodd

GULFPORT -- A Gulfport man indicted on a charge of using the Internet to coax a 13-year-old to have sex with him in front of her mother faces 10 years to life in prison if found guilty.

Gregory Dodd, 53, pleaded not guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court.

He has been held with no bond since his April 15 arrest.

A prosecutor and a Homeland Security Investigations agent had asked he be detained, in part, because he had "expressed urges" of a sexual nature involving his grandchildren, according to testimony.

He had come under investigation during a probe of people frequenting a website that focuses on nontraditional sex acts and fetishes, including incest, according to an HSI agent.

Dodd declined to answer questions at his arraignment Thursday; he had his attorney answer for him. He wants a trial. But his attorney objected to a trial date of June 6, less than a month from arraignment.

His attorney can file a motion requesting a later trial date, Magistrate Judge Robert Walker said.

If convicted, Dodd could be on probation for life after his release from prison. The charge also carries a fine of up to $250,000.

The indictment alleges Dodd used the Internet to coerce or entice a girl to have sexual activity from Feb. 12, 2015, until the day of his arrest. HSI agents seized two cellphones, records show.

The arrest and heavy presence of police cars raised concerns among neighbors, who told the Sun Herald they had heard of his family background.

He is the brother of serial killer and child molester Westley Allen Dodd, who has been called "one of the most evil killers in history."

Westley Dodd kidnapped, sexually assaulted and killed three boys in 1989. He later confessed after he was caught trying to kidnap another boy. He was put to death in 1993 at Washington State Penitentiary.

Gregory Dodd allegedly was visiting an undisclosed fetish website and began messaging a mother about incest.

Messages printed in court records show he discussed watching "real" incest videos with the mother Feb. 20, 2015, five days after he first contacted her.

He didn't know the mother was an undercover agent using a fictitious persona, the agent said. Or that the 13-year-old girl existed only in a fake email address.

The printed messages in the court records said Dodd wanted to spend time with the mother and daughter and sunbathe in the nude, and asked the mother if she'd ever taken pictures of being "naughty" with her daughter.

He also allegedly told her he had spent time with his grandchildren on a recent weekend and said, "I had 'the feeling' when my youngest was sitting on my lap for the first time."

Dodd allegedly said he had sex with young girls while stationed in the Philippines for military service.

On Jan. 26, he reportedly sent an email to the girl, saying, "Your mother and I share the same likes sexually. We both like incest and she really wants to watch us together sometime."

Messages to the mother from March 17 reportedly talked about setting up a public meeting, with the daughter wearing loose, revealing clothing, and discussion of sex acts Dodd allegedly wanted to perform on the girl.

In an email to the girl, he reportedly said, "Tell me what turns you on sexually. Do you like your mom watching you?"

Investigators said they didn't know who Dodd was until the "mother" provided him a phone number, and he called her March 21. A check of phone records revealed his name, an agent said.

He allegedly messaged the woman April 6, telling her to meet him on 28th Street, where he was working, so they could "take it to the next level."

Testimony has revealed Dodd was under surveillance when agents saw his truck on the street, and they were able to find other records to confirm where he lives.

HSI obtained a warrant and arrested him at his home on Gary Street near Bel-Aire Elementary School.

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