Former Sheriff’s Sergeant Pleads Guilty to Soliciting Sex from Teen Boy in Online Sting

San Diego County Superior Court
The San Diego County Superior Court in downtown San Diego. Photo by Chris Stone

A former San Diego County sheriff’s sergeant who was arrested after an online video surfaced claiming he was trying to meet with minors for sex pleaded guilty Wednesday to a felony sex crime.

The investigation into Luis Rios, 55, began earlier this year after citizens’ group People V. Preds alleged Rios attempted to solicit sex from a person he believed was a 15-year-old boy.

Members of the group typically pose as minors, then attempt to meet up with adults who arrange for sexual encounters and expose them on video.

Group members said Rios engaged in sexually explicit conversations with at least one supposed teenager, then attempted to meet with a minor in public.

In one video, a member of People V. Preds encounters an SUV driver they said was Rios in a shopping center parking lot. The driver states that he was there to pick up food, while the person shooting the video accuses the driver of being there to meet with a minor.

When the cameraman asks the SUV driver about his conversations with teens, the man drives off.

A criminal complaint filed against Rios states the meet-up attempt happened in March of this year.

In June, he was charged with two felonies and a misdemeanor and faced up to four years in prison. On Wednesday, Rios was slated to undergo a preliminary hearing, during which prosecutors would have presented evidence to support taking him to trial on those charges.

However, the hearing was vacated following Rios’ plea to one count of contacting a minor with the intent to commit a sexual offense. He faces up to a year in custody when he is sentenced this December.

City News Service contributed to this article.

Originally posted 2023-10-18 23:59:08.