Sex offender held on federal warrant
A 41-year-old convicted sex offender is being held on a federal warrant on suspicion that he violated his parole orders by using computers at the Milton Public Library to chat with young females, the Milton Police Department said in a news release.
Leslie A. Letts, 41, of 2516 Lucerne Dr., Janesville, was arrested at 5:30 p.m. Friday on a warrant issued through the U.S. Marshall's office. The warrant accuses him of violating a federal court order to have no contact with computers or the Internet, Milton Police Lt. John Conger said.
Letts was being held Monday at the Rock County Jail.
The arrest came after undercover officers Oct. 5 observed Letts chatting online with younger females on publicly shared computers at the library at 430 E. High St., Milton, Milton police said.
During the same incident, undercover police also saw Letts use social networking sites to view pictures of clothed females, some of which "appeared younger and were posing in provocative positions," according to Milton police reports.
Letts was convicted in 2004 in an Illinois federal court on charges he used a computer to facilitate a sex crime with a minor, according to records at the Wisconsin Department of Corrections.
Conger said the age and number of females Letts contacted during chats at the library are not known, and it's unclear whether any were local residents. It also was unclear whether Letts committed any wrongdoing other than using a computer against court orders, Conger said.
"The only violation was a violation of his supervision orders," Conger said.
Conger said Oct. 5 wasn't the first time Letts used computers illegally at the Milton Public Library.
A witness saw Letts chatting with young females on computers at the library on at least 10 occasions in the last three months, Conger said. During that time, Letts had been a resident in Milton and in Janesville, police said.
Conger said the witness checked a sex offender watch list and discovered Letts was a registered sex offender. The witness Sept. 24 informed police of Letts' alleged activities.
After police observed Letts using library computers Oct. 5, they contacted his parole officer, who said Letts had no permission to use computers, Conger said.
He said Milton police told Letts on Oct. 5 he was no longer allowed in the library and that the investigation of his activity at the library was being turned over to his parole officer.
Conger said the Milton Police Department continues to take cyber crime seriously, especially when it's linked to registered sex offenders.
"We have these predators in our library, and children are there. That's why this type of crime is taken so seriously by our agency. It's in our own backyard, so to speak," he said., the Milton Police Department said in a news release.