Abe Spear came to Dallas on September 20 to back Nashville musician Josh Thompson at a gig at Toby Keith's I Love This Bar & Grill.
The 30-year-old Spear is a veteran banjo player who'd tasted modest success as part of the bluegrass group King Wilkie before joining up with Thompson. But he had bigger plans in Dallas. The month before, he'd gone online and, under the screen names MUSICMAN30 and BANJOPAINE, corresponding with someone he thought was the mother of a 7-year-old girl he hoped to have sex with.
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The woman thought that was a fine suggestion, offering up her 9-year-old daughter as well. Spear and the mother arranged to meet during the band's stop in Dallas, where he would be allowed to have his way with the girls. He sent a nude photo of himself to be passed along to the girls, asking what they would think of it.
It wasn't until Spear got to the meeting place, a Dallas restaurant, that he realized the mother was actually an undercover law enforcement officer.
After being placed under arrest, he admitted to trying to set up a tryst with the two girls and had tried to set up such underage liaisons through other mothers, one of whom he'd offered $200.
Spear pleaded guilty this morning to one count of attempting to entice a minor. That carries a minimum 10-year prison sentence and $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for July 7.