Ex-nonprofit head busted in child-sex sting to plead guilty

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Local,DC,Crime,Naomi Jagoda

A former nonprofit director is expected to plead guilty to traveling from Maryland to the District for purposes of engaging in sexual activity with a 12-year-old girl.

Scott Richard Swirling, of Gaithersburg, was initially charged in January after he was caught in a sting run by a task force of FBI agents and D.C. police officers. Last week, he was charged in federal court in the District by information, which typically means that a plea deal is in the works.

Swirling's lawyer, Shawn Moore, said his client is planning to plead guilty at a hearing that may be scheduled for April 16. He declined to discuss the terms of the plea agreement.

Swirling, 62, has served as executive director of the American School Counselor Association and the National Family Planning & Reproductive Health Association. He later started his own construction-management business that caters to law firms, nonprofits and other entities.

According to court documents:

Swirling responded Jan. 7 to a Craigslist advertisement posted by an undercover D.C. police detective. Swirling wrote that he is "quite kinky & perverted in a host of ways."

Swirling and the undercover detective then began an instant-message conversation where they discussed their sexual interest in children. During the chat, the detective mentioned his purported 12-year-old daughter and sent photos of the girl to Swirling.

The detective and Swirling then began discussing plans to meet up the next day in the District and Swirling would have sex with the 12-year-old, according to court papers. During the conversation, Swirling wrote, "I am sure you can imagine that I am a bit concerned about a sting." He asked that the girl email him.

On the day of the planned meeting, Swirling again emailed the detective and said he was nervous about law enforcement showing up. In order to prove that the girl was real, Swirling asked the detective to have his daughter send him a photo of herself with the date written on a piece of paper.

Swirling then received an email from the purported daughter that showed a picture of her holding up a piece of paper reading, "Hi, Scott, January 8, 2013 see ya soon." According to court papers, Swirling replied, "You are definitely a cutie."

Later that day, Swirling showed up at the location that he and the detective had agreed upon and was arrested.

njagoda@washingtonexaminer.com

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