Following a two-day trial in Orlando, Florida, it took a federal jury only two hours to find former NASCAR driver Rick Crawford guilty of enticing a minor for a criminal sexual activity, a crime that carries a minimum mandatory penalty of 10 years in federal prison.
Arrested for the crime on Feb. 28 and indicted in March, Crawford stood trial over allegations that he arranged to pay up to $75 to have sex with a 12-year-old girl. As if that wasn’t disgusting enough, the official complaint paints an even more twisted picture.
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 them.
When Crawford arrived at the arranged meeting place, he was arrested and found to have $80 and a condom in his pocket.
Crawford took the stand Wednesday, pointing to an interview with police where he claimed that he would not have gone through with anything had he known that the girl was underage. But the jury was not convinced and found him guilty on Thursday.
Racing in the NASCAR Camping World Truck Series from 1997-2013, Rick Crawford had five wins, 160 top-10 finishes, and six poles over the course of his career. He also holds the current record for most starts in the Camping World Truck Series, with 210 consecutive races run, and was also the former promoter and manager of Mobile International Speedway.
Following his arrest, NASCAR removed Crawford from its list of industry experts who could hear appeals of penalties. Crawford’s hearing sentence is scheduled for November 26.