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Man sent explicit photos over Facebook messenger to officer he believed to be a teenage girl

Christopher Patterson was being held in the Sedgwick County jail on similar charges when a warrant was issued for his arrest by Fort Collins police.

FORT COLLINS, Colo. — A 47-year-old Fort Collins man has been arrested and is accused of making attempts to initiate sex with a child, according to Fort Collins Police Services (FCPS).

In April 2021, Christopher Patterson engaged with a Facebook account that appeared to belong to a 13-year-old girl, when in fact, the account was administered by an undercover police officer in Eastern Colorado, according to FCPS.

During conversations on Facebook Messenger, Patterson shared sexually explicit photos and discussed meeting up for sex and drug use, police said.

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Upon confirming that Patterson lived in Fort Collins, the officer turned the case over to the FCPS Crimes Against Persons Unit. A FCPS detective continued contact through the account, and the suspect attempted to arrange a time to meet in person. 

Credit: LCSO
Christopher Patterson

A warrant was issued for Patterson’s arrest in August and was served at the Sedgwick County Sheriff's Office where he was in custody for a separate case. Court records show he was arrested in that county in April of this year for an incident that occurred in late March. He was initially arrested on the following charges in Sedgwick County:

  • Internet sexual exploitation of a child
  • Attempted child internet luring with intent to exploit
  • Internet luring of a child

A court clerk confirmed that a tentative plea agreement has been reached and online court records show that he has a sentencing hearing in that case on Nov. 3.

Patterson faces the following felony charges in Larimer County related to his most recent arrest:

  • Internet sexual exploitation of a child 
  • Internet Luring of a child 
  • Enticement of a child 

Police are concerned that Patterson may have contacted social media accounts belonging to actual children. 

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"Predators often groom victims to build trust before escalating to inappropriate interactions," said Assistant Chief Tim Doran, who leads the Criminal Investigations Division. "We urge parents to take an active role in monitoring their children's virtual presence and engage in ongoing family discussions about digital safety."

Anyone with information about this suspect or potential inappropriate interactions with minors is asked to contact Detective Laura Knudsen at 970-416-2771.

People who wish to remain anonymous may also contact Crime Stoppers of Larimer County at 970-221-6868 or www.stopcriminals.org.

FCPS offers free Internet Safety presentations to help parents, caregivers, and adolescents navigate social media and recognize the signs of online predators. The next session will be held on Nov. 9 from 6:30—8 p.m. 

To register, or to view our online library of internet safety videos and resources, please visit https://www.fcgov.com/police/digital-safety