A Texas tennis instructor, caught up in one of those Internet stings where a 50-year-old cop pretends to be a horny underage girl, now says it was all in good fun and that he never intended to meet the fake “Jenny” for sex. According to David Mecurio, he was just messing around and besides, no one is ever really who they say they are online . . . or their real age . . . so what’s the harm?
A tennis instructor arrested this week after police accused him of trying to solicit sex online from a minor said Friday that he regrets his chat room conversations but insisted that he never intended to act on them. “This is not me. This is not who I am at the core,” David Mercurio, 47, said in a telephone interview Friday.
Fort Worth police arrested Mercurio on Wednesday at his Coppell home with a warrant that says he solicited sex from someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl he encountered on Yahoo. The “girl” was an undercover Fort Worth police officer. He was released from jail Thursday on $10,000 bail.
Mercurio said that the person he was chatting with identified herself as a 13-year-old girl named Jenny but that he believed that the person was pretending. “Someone can put any age. You never know. People play in there,” Mercurio said. He said he was playing when he began making sexually explicit comments to “Jenny.”
The arrest warrant affidavit said those comments included Mercurio telling Jenny that he couldn’t wait to meet, asking whether she was up for a hotel and describing sexual acts he wanted to perform on her, including oral sex. “There’s no way I would ever do that,” Mercurio said. “You’re just getting caught up in the moment and you’re not thinking clearly. You’re not being smart. I deeply regret my actions for anybody that I’ve hurt. I’m deeply sorry and regretful.”