Police: Sex offender arrested after attempting to meet teen for sex

TRUMANN, AR (KAIT) - A Level 3 sex offender appeared before a judge Monday after police arrested him in a Walmart parking lot as he waited to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex.

According to the Trumann Police Department, Dewayne Cartwright, 54, of West Helena was arrested on June 1 at the Trumann Walmart parking lot. He faces a charge of internet stalking of a child.

With the help of the Jonesboro Police Department's Internet Crimes Against Children Unit, Arkansas State Police and the Poinsett County Sheriff's Office, officers arrested Cartwright without incident.

During an interview with investigators, Cartwright said he believed the girl was of legal age. He said he "only received one 'blurry' photo of the girl and could not tell how old she was."

He told investigators he did not know what he was planning to do with her but wanted to see if there was "chemistry."

Messages discovered by the investigators, however, told a different story.

According to an incident report obtained by Region 8 News, Cartwright's messages with the 14 year old began on April 10. In initial messages, the girl told Cartwright she was 14. Cartwright told the girl he was 42, which was a lie.

"He advised her that he only lived two hours away from Trumann and that it was not too far for her to visit, advising that he would love to meet her," Officer Karen Rinehart noted in the incident report.

He told the girl she had to be "loyal and faithful to him" and not tell her parents. "I don't think ur folks would b too happy with me right now," Cartwright reportedly said in messages on social media.

Officer Rinehart noted the messages quickly became increasingly sexual in nature. She said in the report that Cartwright asked for photos of the child and after seeing them commented on how "sexy" she looked.

He said, according to the report, that he wanted to meet her on his birthday and tie a bow around her waist because "she would be his gift." In additional messages, Cartwright said he wanted to marry the teen and even called her "Mrs. Cartwright."

Cartwright continued to push meeting the girl on June 1 and even described some of the things he wanted to do. "Cartwright told the girl to trust him that he would not get her pregnant," the report said.

After arresting Cartwright, officers searched his vehicle and found a small blue and white dress.

A judge on Monday set Cartwright's bond at $100,000. He was ordered to appear in court again on July 31.

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