Oakdale Police detectives arrested a 65-year-old man for solicitation of sex acts with a child on Wednesday, Nov. 25 after anonymous sexually explicit letters were brought to the department’s attention in September.
Oakdale Police Detective Sergeant Joe Johnson said approximately 40 letters had been posted in the alleyway between the 100 block of Stanislaus and Warrington avenues in mid-September and the department commenced an investigation.
“The letters were very graphic soliciting sex with young boys,” Johnson said.
Detectives posed as a 15-year-old boy and responded to the letters, leaving their own letters at the same location. After an exchange of a few letters over a two-month period, in which a home address and name were left by the suspect, a date to meet up was arranged.
“We were very specific about being underage in our responses,” Johnson said. “He mentioned he wanted to meet for sex; it was the topic in most all the notes since September.”
Investigators staked out the arranged rendezvous spot with a police decoy and arrested Stephen L. Busch, 65, of Oakdale when he showed up at the location.
When questioned, Busch admitted to leaving the letters and being at the location to meet the boy he had been communicating with.
Detectives served a search warrant on Busch’s nearby Stanislaus Avenue home and found the notes they had placed over the past two months.
“Judging by what had been written in the original note and the subsequent ones, we feared he may act on his own,” Johnson said. “We moved as fast as we could and were fortunate to see him when he went for the arranged meet.”
Busch was booked into Stanislaus County Jail on two different counts for soliciting sex with a minor and attempted child sexual abuse. He is being held with a $50,000 bail.
Busch appeared in court on Monday, Nov. 30 and was assigned a public defender. Stanislaus County Superior Court Judge John Whiteside scheduled Busch to return to court on Dec. 4 for a pretrial hearing and could decide to increase or decrease the $50,000 bail amount.