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Naughton: The American dream turned sour, Part II

From all outside appearances, Patrick Naughton seemed the personification of the American dream

See also Part I.

His partner in that encounter had the screen name of KrisLA. Naughton had met KrisLA six months earlier in a chatroom called "dad&daughtersex". Over the course of their virtual flirtation, KrisLA told Naughton repeatedly that she was just 13 years old. According to chat records, Naughton, who went by the screen name hotseattle, didn't seem to mind. His correspondence with KrisLA ranged from the playful to the steamy. At times, he urged KrisLA to tell him about her day and be his "secret friend". He said that there would be "no pressure" and that they could play it by ear. At other times, he asked her to dance naked in front of him, saying that "my c**k will get hard if you do that". He told her he loved how tiny she was, and the fact that she wasn't sexually developed or experienced, and directed her to an online picture of an erect penis that he said was his. In turn, KrisLA asked him repeatedly what he wanted to do. "Kiss, make out, and play and stuff," he answered.

Eventually, Naughton learned that he would be in Southern California for a business meeting and asked KrisLA to meet him. He thought that even if KrisLA didn't show up, the drive to the ocean would do him good. It had been a week since he had been passed over for a major promotion -- the chance to oversee his company's much-hyped Internet portal, Go.com -- and Naughton was despondent. In fact, he was considering quitting the company.

After a few wrong turns on Pacific Coast Highway, Naughton reached the pier. He parked in a nearby lot and walked toward the cotton candy sellers and carnival rides. It was just before 8pm, an hour before his scheduled rendezvous with KrisLA. Naughton killed some time meandering along the wooden planks that stretch out along the pier. He took a seat at Maria Sol, under the fishing nets and brightly coloured wooden fish that hang from the restaurant's walls, and ordered from a menu featuring seafood prepared with a hint of Mexican spice. He also had two beers and a shot.

Naughton then strolled back down the pier, the teardrop-shaped lamps casting an orange glow over the swells below. Along the railing, fishing lines swayed back and forth with each passing wave, stirring up the squawking gulls as they hunted for scraps.

As he reached the halfway point of the pier, where the wooden planks meet the asphalt walkway, Naughton had a choice: To continue straight toward his car, which would take him back to a meeting with a colleague at the Mondrian, or to hook a right toward the carnival rides to search for KrisLA.

Naughton veered right, wandering toward the designated meeting spot, which was the corner of the pier behind the red tracks of the rollercoaster. There he saw a diminutive blonde with butterfly hair clips, a bright white sweater and tennis shoes. She also sported baggy overalls and a green backpack, as she had told him she would online. Naughton took one hand out of his pocket, waved and walked toward her.

See also Part III.

See also The trial of Patrick Naughton

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