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Stupidity expert snared in sex sting

©Associated Press
November 9, 2002

LANTANA -- James F. Welles wrote two books on stupidity. Police say he may want to include a new chapter on himself.

The 61-year-old author of The Story of Stupidity and Understanding Stupidity has written extensively about dumb things people do, so he tried to be cautious when, police say, he made a date with a 15-year-old girl he had met over the Internet.

"We can't be lovey-dovey in public," police say Welles explained to his new young friend. "Bottom line -- I'm committing a crime."

After the girl said she could call him "Dad" when they met at a Denny's, Welles said they could go to his car and have sex, police said. He later scrapped that plan when he realized his windows were not tinted enough to ensure privacy, police said.

But the date fell apart last week when he was greeted at Denny's by two uniformed police officers.

The author had been corresponding for three weeks with a 40-year-old male detective.

He faces a felony charge of soliciting a minor over the Internet. Released on bail, he did not return a phone message left Friday at his Pompano Beach home.

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