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JEFFERSON COUNTY – A 58-year-old registered sex offender and a former Denver Police officer is accused of trying to lure an underage girl to have sex.

Joseph Ellsworth is facing charges of internet luring of a child and criminal attempted sexual assault on a child.

Court records say Ellsworth drove from his home in Colorado Springs to Jefferson County to meet up with a girl he met online who he believed was under the age of 15.

According to Ellsworth's arrest affidavit, Ellsworth texted the girl he believed to be under 15, asking her to "keep this just between us, friends tend to gossip."

The 58-year-old allegedly told the girl they didn't have to have sex right away as "they had nine hours together."

The person he had been speaking to was actually an undercover investigator with the District Attorney's Child Sex Offender Investigations unit.

It started on Aug. 7, when a technician from the DA's office got an unsolicited text message from Joseph Ellsworth. The technician was portraying herself as a teenager.

Court records show that Ellsworth and the mock-teenager exchanged numerous text messages and a telephone call. During those conversations, Ellsworth asked the purported teen to engage in sexual activity.

Ellsworth and the undercover investigator agreed to meet at a restaurant in Littleton the next day. Investigators arrested Ellsworth the next day.

Ellsworth's bond has been set at $100,000. He has been booked into the Jefferson County Detention Center.

Ellsworth is registered as a sex offender in Colorado Springs. His sex offender registration says he was convicted of "interstate travel with the intent to engage in sexual activity with a minor."

9NEWS looked into Ellsworth's criminal history. He has a DUI arrest in 1995, as well as charges of forgery and obstruction of justice.

Ellsworth was hired by the DPD in 1984. He was placed on leave without pay in 1995 and fired in 1996 after being charged with perjury, forgery and tampering with evidence in Arapahoe County. He was last assigned to district for as a police officer, first-grade.

(KUSA-TV © 2014 Multimedia Holdings Corporation)

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