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Teen tweets about man's alleged offer of money for sex

A Medford man who allegedly offered a 15-year-old girl money in exchange for sex faces a felony charge after she tweeted about the incident.

"I got asked to have sex for money. I'm only 15, and he was obviously at least 60 and now reported," the teen tweeted Feb. 1, the day of the man's alleged proposition.

She also expressed dismay and anger in the Twitter post.

Robert Lee Maphet, 73, of the 1300 block of Locust Street in Medford, was due to be arraigned in Jackson County Court Thursday. He failed to appear for his court date.

On June 1, a Jackson County grand jury indicted Maphet on a charge of purchasing sex with a minor — which is legally defined as paying, offering to pay or agreeing to pay a fee to engage in sexual intercourse or sexual contact with a minor.

Under Oregon law, the mandatory minimum sentence upon conviction of the crime for first-time offenders is a fine of $10,000, at least 30 days' incarceration and an order to complete "John school." The offender may also be required to register as a sex offender.

A "John school" is a program intended to prevent recidivism of people arrested or convicted of patronizing a prostitute or purchasing sex with a minor or attempting to.

For subsequent convictions of purchasing sex with a minor, the fine goes up to $20,000 and the person must register as a sex offender.

Maphet has a record but no previous sex-related offenses, according to court documents.

In 1997, Maphet was convicted of two counts of second-degree criminal mischief. In 2002, he was convicted of harassment and second-degree criminal trespass. He was ordered to attend counseling for cultural sensitivity and treatment for alcohol abuse, and was sentenced to 13 days in jail, probation and community service, according to court records.

Staff reporter Vickie Aldous can be reached at 541-776-4486 or valdous@mailtribune.com. Follow her at www.twitter.com/VickieAldous.