David N. Goodman
The Associated Press
4:53 PM EDT, September 18, 2007
A grand jury issued new charges today against a U.S. prosecutor from Florida accused of soliciting sex with a 5-year-old girl on the Internet.
A U.S. magistrate ordered John D.R. Atchison held without bond. At his lawyer's request, a suicide watch also was lifted for Atchison.
Atchison, 53, of Gulf Breeze, is an assistant U.S. Attorney in northern Florida, based in Pensacola.
He was arrested Sunday at Detroit Metropolitan Airport for what he thought was a meeting with the mother of a 5-year-old girl with whom he arranged to have sex, authorities said. In fact, the woman was a Macomb County Sheriff's detective and part of an Internet sex sting operation.
The charges include crossing state lines with intent to have sex with someone under 12, which carries a minimum 30-year prison sentence and a maximum of life; use of the Internet to seek illicit sex, which carries a mandatory minimum of 10 years in prison and a maximum of 30 years; and interstate travel to engage in illicit sexual contact, which carries up to 30 years.