A 26-year-old man admitted Tuesday that he intended to pay for sex with a 14-year-old boy when responding to an undercover agent’s Craigslist ad in July.

“I agreed to have sex with a 14-year-old boy and arranged to meet with his contact,” Kenneth Dale Eagle said while making admissions in Yellowstone County District Court. “As I followed the contact into the motel, I was arrested by the police.”

Eagle’s plea agreement calls for him to be sentenced to 20 years in prison with 15 years suspended if an evaluator determines he is at a low risk of re-offending, or 20 years in prison with 10 years suspended if he is found to be at a moderate risk of re-offending.

He is scheduled to be sentenced by District Judge Mary Jane McCalla Knisely on Jan. 8. If Knisely doesn’t follow those recommendations, Eagle will be able to take back his guilty plea.

According to charging documents, Eagle responded July 7 to an ad posted on Craigslist by an agent with the Montana Division of Criminal Investigation.

The agent reported emailing and texting back and forth with Eagle, who agreed to pay for sex with a 14-year-old boy the following day.

Eagle went to the motel shortly after midnight on July 9, when officers arrested him.

Initially, Eagle admitted to the agent that he responded to the Craigslist ad and that he went to the motel intending to have sex, but he denied knowing the sex would be with a child or being willing to pay for sex, charging documents say.

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City news reporter for the Billings Gazette