Maine man found guilty of enticing minors for sex

Posted May 28, 2009, at 5:42 p.m.

PORTLAND, Maine (AP) — A three-day bench trial in Portland has ended with a judge’s guilty verdict in the case of a 29-year-old Brownfield man charged with two felony counts of enticing minors for sex acts.

Michael Berk, who already pleaded guilty to possessing child pornography, faces at least 10 years, and possibly 30 years or more, when U.S. District Judge George Singal sentences him later this year.

The Portland Press Herald said the trial delved into the online world of fantasy personas, explicit chats, casual sexual encounters and pornography.

The case developed last summer when Berk responded to a help-wanted ad on Craigslist by a Biddeford man looking for work to provide for his four children. The man notified police after Berk asked if he would rent his 12-year-old daughter for sex.