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Men Arrested For Sex Crimes In Sturgis

Five men face felony charges for trying to have sex with children following the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally. The number is down from the nine arrested during last year’s rally in the Black Hills.

The men arrested for sex crimes at Sturgis this year are from all over: Nebraska, Pennsylvania, North Carolina, and California. One even lives in Canada.

South Dakota Attorney General Marty Jackley says officers with the Internet Crimes Against Children Unit set up fake ads online offering sex with kids in exchange for money.

"That there is chatter back and forth and communication back and forth, and then, at some point, the individual makes a substantial step toward meeting with and pursuing those sexual relations with a child," Jackley says.

That’s when authorities arrest the criminals.

Jackley says the stings have two purposes: to identify and arrest people who want to sexually exploit children and to deter people from considering committing the crimes in South Dakota.

Jackley says law enforcement officials arrested fewer people looking to buy sex with kids at this year’s Sturgis motorcycle rally than in 2013.

"Last year, the operation was up for about six days and there were nine fairly significant arrests. This year the operation ran a little longer – it was about eight days, and we experienced less arrests at six," Jackley says.

Jackley says some of the ads officials post include children twelve years old or younger. Local, state and federal authorities work together on the sex trafficking sting, and they’re in the process of filing charges against five men.

The following men face sex crime charges:

Alexandros Thymaras, 32 - Calgary, Alberta Canada
Phillip Holden, 23 - Alliance, Nebraska
Timithy Fielding, 50 - Centerville, Pennsylvania
Robert Clyde, 65 - Fayetteville, North Carolina
Walter Curaba, 44 - Glendora, California

Authorities say they made one additional arrest, but final charging decisions are pending.

Kealey Bultena grew up in South Dakota, where her grandparents took advantage of the state’s agriculture at nap time, tricking her into car rides to “go see cows.” Rarely did she stay awake long enough to see the livestock, but now she writes stories about the animals – and the legislature and education and much more. Kealey worked in television for four years while attending the University of South Dakota. She started interning with South Dakota Public Broadcasting in September 2010 and accepted a position with television in 2011. Now Kealey is the radio news producer stationed in Sioux Falls. As a multi-media journalist, Kealey prides herself on the diversity of the stories she tells and the impact her work has on people across the state. Kealey is always searching for new ideas. Let her know of a great story! Find her on Facebook and twitter (@KealeySDPB).