Us Weekly Writer Charged in Sex Case

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An Us Weekly (search) gossip writer found himself on the wrong side of the police blotter after being charged with trying to seduce an FBI agent posing on the Internet as a 13-year-old girl.

Us Weekly suspended Timothy McDarrah (search), editor of the Hot Stuff column, without pay, a magazine spokesman said Thursday.

McDarrah responded in June to a posting on the 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 McDarrah failed to show up for a meeting, the agent began sending instant messages in his guise as a 13-year-old girl. McDarrah offered to buy the agent clothes, compact discs and an iPod in exchange for a variety of sexual favors, the agent wrote in the complaint.

On Wednesday, the agent wrote, McDarrah e-mailed that he was waiting at a building the agent had described as the 13-year-old girl's address. FBI agents went there and arrested McDarrah, who is charged with one count of using the Internet to entice a minor into sex, which carries a minimum five-year sentence.

McDarrah was arraigned in Manhattan federal court, held on $50,000 bond and barred from using the Internet or having unsupervised contact with children. He did not enter a plea.