Miss America can add
crime fighter to her resume.
America Lauren Nelson talks with Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., right, at
the Washington Press Club Foundation Dinner on in this file photo from
Feb. 6, 2007, in Washington. Nelson can add Long Island crimefighter to
her resume. The Lawton, Okla., beauty recently went undercover with police
in Suffolk County and participated in a sting operation targeting would-be
sexual predators. [AP]|
Lauren Nelson recently went undercover with police in New York for a
sting targeting sexual predators.
The operation was filmed for a segment of "America's Most Wanted" that will
air Saturday on Fox. Police spokesman Tim Motz said the operation was ongoing
and declined to comment Tuesday evening.
At least four men were arrested and face charges, said Avery Mann, a
spokesman for the show. Another six men agreed to meet Nelson, of Lawton, Okla.,
Nelson, 20, posed as a young teen online and went into chat rooms, where she
said men would begin sending her instant messages asking her how old she was and
where she lived.
"I would say I'm a 14-year-old female from Long Island. Sometimes they would
say, 'You're too young, sorry,' which is exactly what needs to happen, but some
would continue chatting.
"It would only take a matter of time before it got pretty explicit."
Nelson then arranged to meet the men at a home in Long Island, where police
and camera crews were waiting.
Once she entered the home with the suspect, Nelson said, she left the room,
and police and "America's Most Wanted" host John Walsh confronted the suspect.
"That part was very scary, but the police were all over the place," Nelson
said. "I was nervous, of course, but it was a very controlled environment, very
Art McMaster, president and CEO of the Miss America Organization, said he
initially was hesitant about Nelson participating in the sting, but agreed after
speaking with Nelson's father and the producers of "America's Most Wanted."
Nelson, whose platform issue is Internet safety for children, said she was
eager to participate.
"As many as we caught on that day, there are a lot more out there," she said.
"It's nice to know that they were chatting with police officers and me rather
than a 14- or 15-year-old girl."