Local News

Cary man arrested in Internet sex sting

Posted February 19, 2009
Updated February 20, 2009

— A 55-year-old Cary man faces charges stemming from an online sex sting.

Mark Shankin has been charged with attempting indecent liberties with child, soliciting a child by computer to commit an unlawful sex act and attempting to disseminate obscenity to a minor under 16 years of age, Cary police said Thursday.

Shankin was arrested Jan. 15.

A Cary police officer went undercover as a 13-year-old girl in a Yahoo chat room, authorities said. Shankin allegedly instant-messaged the cop, thinking it was a 13-year-old girl. Shankin and the cop chatted from Nov. 6, 2008, to Jan. 13, 2009.

The police set up a meeting place for Shankin and the supposed girl to meet. Shankin arrived at the scene and was confronted by officers.


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  • any1butcarolina0405 Feb 20, 2009

    "You wouldn't be so down on the police if YOUR daughter were a victim of one of these pervs."

    Um yeah I'd be down on myself for being such a lousy parent that I didn't know my daughter was talking to an older man for months on my own home computer.... that I pay for.

  • Eduardo1 Feb 20, 2009

    The more that I read about crime in Cary, the happier I am that I did not move there. Durham, appears to be much safer.

  • Adelinthe Feb 20, 2009

    smitty - "I wonder if they will put him in imaginary jail for talking to an imaginary girl?"

    Nope, it'll all be real because the cop told him she was a 13-year old girl, so what he was intending when he did this illegal, regardless of what it turned out to be.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • Adelinthe Feb 20, 2009

    roncorey -

    Are these opinions really yours? Or do you just read what everyone else posts and post opposite to rile folks up?


    Splashing a criminal's picture through the media is like the old times when they plastered Wanted posters.

    It kept folks informed and on their toes so they could protect themselves and their loved ones.

    It's like a pictorial caution flag.

    And furthermore...


    Thanking God no child was harmed by this sicko.

    God bless.

    Rev. RB

  • ice cream Feb 20, 2009

    "my children are not allowed to IM. i did my job as a parent to protect them. not happening in my house."


    Yeah, good luck with that one. It might not happen in your HOUSE, but I'd be shocked if they weren't doing it without you knowing.

  • roncorey1 Feb 20, 2009


    I never objected to his picture being shown by the media. If that makes you feel "safer" then so be it. The news programs show his picture for for people just like you.

  • FragmentFour Feb 20, 2009

    I'd like to know how the Cary neighbors of this creep feel - and roncorey1's objections aside, I'm more than happy to have his picture and history plastered on every available surface for the rest of his life.

  • roncorey1 Feb 20, 2009

    Nobody was harmed in this instance. A potential crime was averted. I'll give you that. This man needs mental health counseling and therapy. If he is married, then he needs marriage counseling also. Splashing his picture everywhere and making him register as a sex offender makes the politicians and media happy, but there are much more effective ways to reduce sexual abuse of teens by adults. The internet version of it is not the most prevalent; just the most attention-grabbing and salacious.

    Most child/adolescent sexual abuse occurs in the home by someone the child or teen knows.

  • JaydensMom08 Feb 20, 2009

    Smitty: You're totally missing the point! This man did not know that this girl didn't exist! He honestly thought he was going to meet a 13 year old CHILD to do God knows what with her!! Open your eyes! Do you have children...I am assuming not since this is no big deal to you. There are way too many sick freaks out here and you're taking up for them!

  • yourrapsucks Feb 20, 2009

    put him in jail the animals there will take care of him.