Former NASCAR driver Rick Crawford was sentenced Monday to 130 months in federal prison after his conviction in August on one count of enticing a minor.
Crawford, who won five races while competing from 1997 to 2013 in NASCAR's truck series, was arrested in February and convicted by a jury after a trial in which prosecutors said he agreed to pay $50 to $75 to have sex with a 12-year-old girl, a violation of the federal law of enticing a minor for a criminal sexual activity.
In addition to the 130-month prison sentence, Crawford, 60, will have to serve 10 years of supervised release after his release from prison, according to the sentence issued by Judge Roy B. Dalton Jr. in Orlando, Florida. He also was fined $5,000.
Crawford, who has been in jail since his conviction in August, argued against a lengthy sentence in a court filing last week.
"Mr. Crawford testified that he thought 'Mike,' the person he was corresponding with, was engaging in a fantasy and that he agreed to participate," the filing states. "Mr. Crawford did not believe there would be a minor present; instead, he thought there would be an adult woman, presumably 'Mike's' wife or girlfriend, and that he and this woman would act the roles in 'Mike's' fantasy.
"Mr. Crawford consistently maintained that he had no intent to have sex with a minor, and if a minor had been present, he would not have had sex with the minor."
According to the complaint, Crawford responded to a Craigslist ad in which a federal 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" and requested photos of the girl he allegedly believed he would be meeting and told the agent he could watch the proposed encounter.