ST. LOUIS – A man from St. Louis County was sentenced to five years and three months in federal prison over a child pornography investigation.

Robert L. Payne, 77, asked an undercover police officer for naked photos. As part of his sentencing, he will be on supervised release for the rest of his life and be prohibited from entering parks, playgrounds, and other areas where children congregate.

Payne had regularly observed and attempted to converse with boys in Fenton City Park, 1215 Larkin Williams Road. According to St. Louis County police, he was photographed at the park every day between March 1 and 4, 2021.

On March 2, Payne moved his vehicle roughly eighteen times in the park, including backing into a position to watch the Lindbergh High School boys’ lacrosse team practice.

On March 3, Payne sought to speak with 10 to 12 teenage lads near the basketball courts.

On March 8, 2021, a police officer disguised as a 16-year-old played basketball in the park before urinating in a trashcan near Payne’s parked red 2003 Ford Ranger.

According to a federal, indictment, Payne approached the cop, offered him oral sex, and gave him his phone number. Payne later called the officer and promised to do sex acts with him numerous times before requesting a photograph of the accused teen’s genitals.

Payne pleaded guilty in August to a felony charge of soliciting child pornography.

The Sunset Hills Police Department investigated Payne in 2018 after complaints that he approached a 16-year-old boy at Minnie Ha Ha Park and offered to perform oral sex on him.

Payne later pled guilty to harassment and was ejected from the park.

The matter was investigated by the St. Louis County Police Department and the FBI. Jillian Anderson, an Assistant United States Attorney, is prosecuting the case.