Former NASCAR Truck series driver Rick Crawford is being held in a Seminole County (Florida) jail on a charge of attempted enticement of a minor, a spokesman for the U.S. district attorney's office confirmed Monday.
Crawford, 59, has a bond hearing set for Thursday in U.S. District Court in Orlando.
Crawford was apprehended Wednesday by federal agents in Lake Mary when, according to the criminal complaint, he had met an undercover agent on Craigslist whom he had been communicating with for two weeks, leading to an arrangement for him to pay to have oral sex and intercourse with a 12-year-old girl, which would be lascivious battery under Florida law.
According to the complaint, Crawford responded to the Craigslist advertisement in which the agent posed as a man seeking people who "are looking for that dark taboo experience" and the agent eventually told Crawford he could pay to have sex with his (fictitious) 12-year-old daughter. Crawford, the complaint states, texted the agent "Love for her to be naked and ready to" have sex and they agreed on a price of $50-75. Crawford also requested and was sent photos of the girl he allegedly believed he would be meeting and told the agent he could watch the two having sex.
The complaint states Crawford denied to agents after his arrest that he was there to meet anyone underage. "Crawford acknowledged that the communications indicated that a 12-year old girl would be involved, but stated that he found that hard to believe," the complaint said. "He states he showed up to see whether or not the father had a 12 year old daughter, but claimed he would not have gone through with it if the child had been underage."
Crawford competed in 13 full seasons in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series and made his last start in 2012. He had five wins in the series and finished second in the standings in 2002. He attempted to qualify for three NASCAR Cup races in 1993 but failed to make the field each time.
NASCAR has removed Crawford from its list of industry experts who could hear appeals of penalties, a NASCAR spokesman said.