Man says he thought 14-year-old online friend was someone else

Rosie Mullaley
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Mount Pearl man charged with trying to lure teenager on Internet

Paul Phillip Parsons of Mount Pearl awaits the start of proceedings in his trial at provincial court in St. John's Thursday. The 59-year-old is charged with two counts of trying to lure a child on the Internet.


This story contains graphic content.

Paul Phillip Parsons admits his online friend told him she was 14 years old, but claims when he asked to meet her in person, he thought he was talking to someone else.

The Mount Pearl man testified at his trial Thursday in provincial court in St. John’s that he thought he was chatting with a former woman friend and that she was just sexual role playing.

“She was playing the naughty girl,” Parsons said.

“She used to dress up as Little Bo Peep or in a witch’s outfit, too.”

Parsons faces two counts of attempting to lure a child using a computer.

The offences are said to have happened last year, between April 29 and Sept. 29.

The 59-year-old was charged as a result of a lengthy Royal Newfoundland Constabulary (RNC) investigation, which involved an officer posing as young girls in chat rooms.

The 14-year-old girl chatting with Parsons online was actually Const. Ed Billard.

Billard testified earlier this week that in Parsons’ many conversations with “the teenager,” he was trying to arrange meetings with her with the hopes of having sex.

Some excerpts introduced in court of the online chats with “the girl” included the following dialogue:

Parsons: “We could have fun online.”

Girl: “I don’t have a cam.”

Parsons: “Too bad. I wanted to jerk off for you.”

Parsons later says, “I’d like to pick you up and meet you.”

The girl tells him she’s unsure because she has a boyfriend, who is 16.

“That’s OK …,” Parsons replies. “I’ll only keep you for an hour.”

He also says, “I’m 45. Is that too old for you?”

In cross-examination, Crown prosecutor Robin Fowler asked Parsons, “So you were trying to arrange a meeting?”

“We were role-playing,” Parsons replied.

In another conversation, Parsons goes on to tell the “girl” that he will pay her $20 and buy her McDonald’s. “Whatever you want.”

“You were offering money and McDonald’s for sex?” Fowler said.

“We weren’t really going to meet,” Parsons said. “It was about role-playing.”

Parsons said he had two programs opened on his computer screen that day — MSN messenger and Adult Friend Finder.

He said he thought the person he was chatting with on MSN was the same woman he was chatting with on Adult Friend Finder.

He said, in 2008, he had a long-term online sexual relationship with this woman, who said she lived in St. John’s.

For months, he said, he and the woman would turn on their computer cameras and masturbate for each other.

Parsons said she would also perform sexual acts for him with another man in the room with her.

He said the man often typed while she performed, but said he never saw the man’s face.

However, Fowler pointed out that Parsons hadn’t mentioned this woman in his statement to police. He had told police he thought he was talking to a man online.

“I should’ve said ‘couple,’ not ‘man,’” he said.

Throughout the months they chatted, Parsons continually asked “the girl” for a picture of herself.

The picture which “the girl” offered was one of her playing soccer on Wishingwell pitch.

The photo was actually one of a female police officer from years ago.

Fowler pointed out Parsons still continued the conversations even after “the girl” posted that picture.

Parsons claimed the photo was just a one-inch photo which she uploaded to her profile picture box and that he could not tell her age.

“The first time I saw an enlarged (version of that picture) was here in court,” he said.

Fowler asked him why he continued to ask the girl for a photo if he knew it was his former online friend.

“I just wanted to verify it,” Parsons said, “that it was this woman.”

“Here’s my problem with that,” Fowler said. “You never got a picture until that soccer picture, never got a (phone) number or address and never got to see (her), so you never got your confirmation.”

He said he got enough confirmation after she said “hi” and confirmed she had received his message on Adult Friend Finder.

“They were one and the same in my eyes,” Parsons said.

The trial continues today.

Geographic location: Mount Pearl, Little Bo Peep

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