Fort Leonard Wood drill sergeant charged with child enticement and promoting prostitution

Staff Sgt. Austin Michael Peyton was charged with enticement of a child and third-degree promoting prostitution.


By STAFF AND WIRE REPORTS | | Published: January 30, 2020

Sheriff’s deputies in Missouri arrested an Army military police drill sergeant from Fort Leonard Wood last week outside a recreation complex near the base, after authorities say he propositioned a detective posing online as someone younger than 15 earlier that day.

Staff Sgt. Austin Michael Peyton, 28, of the 14th Military Police Brigade, was charged with enticing a child and promoting prostitution after his arrest on Thursday.

After several messages over the internet, Peyton was told the person he was contacting was under 15, a probable cause statement alleges, but he continued to interact with the account, which was being operated by undercover detective with a regional computer crimes task force.

“Wanna make some money?” the soldier asked.

He offered to pay $200 for sexual acts, which he described, and gave a location where a meeting would take place, the document alleges.

After finding him sitting in a vehicle outside The Centre, a recreation center in the town of Rolla, Mo., authorities immediately interviewed the man, the Rolla Daily News reported.

He told the authorities he was at the location to meet someone, the newspaper reported, and he was found to have $200 cash in his possession and content on his phone that would “substantiate why he was at The Centre."

After being charged with one count of child enticement and one count of promoting prostitution in the third degree, he was denied bond because he was believed to pose a danger to the community, court documents state.

The 14th MP Brigade to which Peyton was assigned is responsible for training the Army’s law enforcement personnel. As a drill sergeant, Peyton was responsible for overseeing the training and indoctrination of new recruits out of basic training.

A Tribune News Service story by Lori Amos of The Rolla Daily News contributed to this report.

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