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MH man caught in sting operation, charged with child sex crimes
DARLINGTON - A Mount Horeb man faces felony charges in Lafayette County Circuit Court that he had sexual communications with an undercover deputy pretending to be a 12-year-old girl.

Brandon S. Ziegler, 32, was charged April 12 with causing a child younger than 13 to view or listen to sexual activity, a class F felony, and exposing a child to harmful material, a class I felony. If convicted, he faces up to 16 years in prison and a $35,000 fine.

Court records indicate Ziegler posted a $1,000 cash bond on April 25, with conditions that he not use social media, Facebook, Messenger, Kik, Craigslist or email and not use the internet away from his place of employment. He has an adjourned initial appearance May 30. 

A Lafayette County Sheriff's deputy created a persona of a 12-year-old girl under the name "Elizabeth Everett" and responded on June 27 to a Craigslist ad posted by Ziegler, according to the criminal complaint.

When Ziegler asked for "Elizabeth's" age, she asked if it would be a deal-breaker if she were not of legal age.

"You asking me if you are not [of] legal age sounds like a set up," Ziegler responded. "Are you real? I'm not trying to be on To Catch A Predator lol."

The communication continued on the app Kik because Ziegler wrote that it would be "harder to trace." He sent the fake profile numerous pornographic photos of himself and sent messages describing sexual contact and sexual intercourse with the supposed 12-year-old girl, according to the investigation.