Written by: E. George
Published September 3, 2023 @ 12:30 PM ET
PAULDING COUNTY, Ga. – A 60-year-old Marietta man who was captured on the Fortson, Georgia edition of the famous TV show “To Catch a Predator” in 2006 has been arrested again on child-related charges. Paulding County officers arrested James Michael Klein, also known as “Jim”, on August 9, 2023, for crimes committed in July and charged him with battery – simple assault and felony false imprisonment (victim is younger than 14).
In his most recent charges, Klein is accused of keeping a seven-year-old child bound to a chair with both wrists held together with duct tape. The child suffered marks and scratches from being restrained. Klein did not have permission from the parents to have the child in his custody.
In July 2006, when Klein was 43 years old, he conversed with a decoy who he believed was a 15-year-old girl. He went on to engage in sexually explicit conversations with her, asking her if she ever experienced oral sex.
He said, “I can tell you one thing: my tongue would be all over you – your mouth, your nipples, down between your legs too.” He laughed and joked with her about possibly being arrested and forced to register as a sex offender for life if they were caught.
Klein drove over 100 miles to meet her and unwittingly entered the sting house. The decoy, played by Del Harvey, told him she needed to do laundry and offered him iced tea.
Suddenly, the curtains parted, and Chris Hansen emerged, asking Klein how he was doing and if he located the house easily. When Hansen inquired as to why Klein had traveled to the home, he said he didn’t know what he was talking about and abruptly walked away.
Once he exited the house, Harris County Sheriff’s officers arrested him. Klein told them he was currently married (for 20 years) and had three children, ages 11, 13, and 15. He said he was at the house to watch movies with who he thought was the 15-year-old girl and spend the night.
He later added that he had drunk two glasses of wine while chatting with the decoy and said the alcohol had “clouded his judgment.” He pleaded guilty to his charges.
Klein was convicted in Harris County of attempted child molestation and attempted statutory rape that occurred on July 21, 2006. He was sentenced to 10 years in jail, with a minimum of five years to serve.
He received 10 years of probation and, as he had joked about with the decoy, was forced to register as a sex offender for life. He was incarcerated from April 16, 2007, to December 22, 2009, serving only two years and eight months of his prison sentence. He remained on probation once released from prison. His probation ended in 2019.
Klein is currently incarcerated at the Paulding County Jail, awaiting his next court date for his most recent charges.