Tuesday, September 14, 1999

Meister pleads guilty in Net sex case with minor

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        William “Billy” Meister, the brains behind a ticket-scalping scheme that landed him in prison, is back behind bars in a case involving sex and the Internet.

        The 38-year-old Madeira man pleaded guilty Monday to charges that he lured a Madeira girl he met on the Internet into a sexual relationship and planned to sell nude pictures of her.

        Dressed in a black sweat shirt and jeans, his demeanor was just as casual Monday when he appeared before Judge Ann Marie Tracey in Hamilton County Common Pleas Court.

        He flirted with a paralegal and made joking comments to a sheriff's deputy moments before entering his guilty plea.

        Mr. Meister, who's legally blind and has multiple sclero sis, also twisted from his seat at the defense table to make eye contact with anyone watching, including his 16-year-old victim and her family.

        “It's good to keep a sense of humor in these matters,” he said to a deputy during a court recess.

        “Can I keep this as a souvenir?” he asked, holding a paper cup.

        When his attorney returned, he crushed the cup. “I've been working out,” he said.

        Although Mr. Meister has been jailed several times over the years for fraudulent moneymaking schemes and has 21 convictions that include forging his mother's signature on checks, his latest case is the most serious.

        He pleaded guilty to two counts of corruption of a minor, three counts of illegal

        use of a minor in nudity-oriented material and two counts of pandering sexually oriented materials involving a minor.

        He could be sentenced to up to 29 years in prison. He is to be held in jail pending sentencing set for Oct. 13.

        Judge Tracey also will rule that day whether he should be considered a sexual predator who must register his address with the sheriff's office for the rest of his life.

        His victim, a teen referred to by the court as “Jane Doe,” sat in court with her parents but gave no statement.

        Prosecutors say she met him in an Internet chat room and that they began a sexual relationship. Mr. Meister took nude pictures of her and had used one photo on his screen saver. It was found the day deputies searched his home after the girl's parents called police.

        Prosecutors say Mr. Meister set up a Web site and planned to sell pictures of the girl as well as other children engaged in sexual activities.

        The case involves two co-defen dants.

        Laszlo Bozso, a former assistant coach for the Xavier University women's soccer team, was sentenced in July to one year in prison for interfering with a police investigation by cutting up nude photos of the girl and flushing them down a toilet when he learned of the investigation.

        The case against Frank Burton, a friend of Mr. Meister's who is accused of possessing nude photos of the girl, is pending.


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