LAS VEGAS – Former Us Weekly gossip columnist Timothy McDarrah, arrested in New York last year by undercover federal agents, has been found guilty of charges related to soliciting sex with a minor.
McDarrah, a former reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, was arrested after being charged with trying to seduce an undercover federal agent posing on the Internet as a 13-year-old girl.
He was charged with one count of using a computer and the Internet "to attempt to entice, induce, coerce and persuade a minor to engage in sexual activity," according to an indictment handed up in November 2005. He was convicted Dec. 20 after an eight-day jury trial in New York, and faces a mandatory minimum of five years in prison, according to court documents.
McDarrah, 44, responded in June 2005 to a posting on the craigslist.com Web site offering introductions to the "freshest, youngest" girls in New York, an FBI affidavit said. The gossip writer told an undercover FBI agent, who had posted the advertisement to lure pedophiles, that he would pay $200 for sex with a 13-year-old girl, the affidavit said.
After his arrest, McDarrah was suspended without pay from his post as the editor of Us Weekly's "Hot Stuff" column. From 2002 to 2004, he worked as a gossip columnist at the Las Vegas Sun.