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Oculus exec pleads not guilty on attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor charges

Oculus VR

Update January 6, 2017: Oculus executive Dov Katz has pleaded not guilty on charges of attempted commercial sexual abuse of a minor.

After posting a $125,000 bond on December 23, Katz has been placed on bail until his next court appearance on February 7.

In the meantime, the Oculus executive has been issued a criminal no-contact order, meaning he’s not allowed to be around around any minors other than his children or the children of friends, without a responsible adult present.

The case continues. Thanks, Polygon.

Original Story December 28, 2016: An Oculus executive has been caught in a police sting for allegedly soliciting sex from an underage girl. Head of Oculus computer vision and machine learning, Dov Katz, was arrested under the charge of “commercial sexual abuse of a minor”, after a sting operation by police in Tukwila, Washington, report NBC affiliatesKING 5.

GeekWire published the charging documents in the case, which show incriminating text message exchanges between Katz’s phone number and the undercover police officer performing the sting.

The sting operation, codenamed ‘Buyer Beware’, involved an undercover police officer placing a backpage advert while posing as an escort. Originally, Katz was told he would be meeting a 19-year-old, but he was then allegedly asked if younger girls were okay, to which he replied “Yes. More energy to keep up.”

Almost ten minutes after that exchange, the officer replied “Can I be honest with u? I’m new to all this and a little younger than the ad says but I promise u won’t be disappointed.” When he asked how much younger, the officer said they were 15. After that, the undercover officer sent photos to Katz, who he told her she was “cute” and asked for another picture.

Katz turned up at the Embassy Suites where the officers were waiting later that night, and he was arrested with $600 on his person. In his defence, Katz claims he was there to rescue the girl and call the police, but the text messages tell a different story and the police said Katz should have told the police before turning up at the meeting point alone.

This news follows some bad publicity from within Oculus earlier this year, when it emerged that Oculus head Palmer Luckey had been funding an underground meme organisation to undermine Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign.