Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect the last known address of Sterling Elmer Davidson.
BLOUNTVILLE — A Roan Mountain man has pleaded guilty to charges he solicited sex from someone he believed to be a 17-year-old girl.
Sterling Elmer Davidson, 40, 1309 Tiger Creek Road, Roan Mountain, pleaded guilty Thursday in Sullivan County Circuit Court to solicitation of sexual exploitation of a minor and solicitation of sexual exploitation by electronic means.
According to Sullivan County Assistant District Attorney Julie Canter, the Class E felonies allege Davidson solicited aggravated statutory rape from and displayed sexual activity to a person he believed to be a minor.
Canter said the investigation of Davidson began when he misdirected a sexually explicit text message to a cell phone owned by the Sullivan County Sheriff’s Office. An SCSO detective responded to Davidson, identifying himself as a 17-year-old girl.
The sheriff’s office said Davidson subsequently requested to meet the girl for sex, and detectives set up a meeting at a business on West Stone Drive via text messages.
When Davidson arrived at the meeting spot, he was stopped and interviewed by undercover officers. He reportedly admitted to police that he’d tried to meet with a 17-year-old girl to have sex with her.
Canter advised Davidson’s guilty plea was in exchange for a one-year sentence, with the issue of jail time or probation to be determined at an Aug. 15 sentencing hearing.
Before the sentencing date, Davidson must undergo a sexual offender evaluation, Canter said.