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Former COC trustee pleads guilty to soliciting a minor for sex over the Internet

Ernie Tichenor served on the community college board from 1997 to 2009

Posted: July 31, 2012 12:53 p.m.
Updated: July 31, 2012 12:52 p.m.


A former College of the Canyons trustee has entered a plea of guilty on a charge that he solicited a minor for sex over the Internet, a court official said Tuesday.

Ernest “Ernie” Tichenor was charged in August after allegedly exchanging inappropriate emails with a 13-year-old in Loudoun County.

On Friday, he pleaded guilty to the charge on Friday.

Jim Plowman, chief prosecutor for Loudoun County, Va., said he was not surprised Tichenor pleaded guilty.

“Pleading guilty typically speaks to the strength of the case against that person,” Plowman said Tuesday.

“Personally speaking, there’s a greater risk for the defendant exposing himself to a panel of the community, jurors,” he said, referring to the option of pleading not guilty and going to trial.

“There are certain offenses that some people in the community find repugnant,” he said.

Tichenor remains free on $5,000 bond.

He’s been ordered by the court not be around minors and to avoid contact with a computer, the Internet or smartphones, Plowman said.

Tichenor is scheduled to appear back in court for sentencing Nov. 9.

In August, Tichenor posted an advertisement on the personals section of Craigslist, a website for classified ads.

The victim’s mother discovered email exchanges between her daughter and Tichenor and reported it to the sheriff’s office.

Tichenor had served as trustee for the Santa Clarita Community College District from 1997 to 2009.

He declined to run for a fourth term in 2009, saying that he had received a job with the federal government in Washington, D.C. He moved to Virginia later in 2009.




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