A 25-year-old political consultant and former state legislative aide pleaded guilty to engaging in activities related to child pornography.

In exchange for Carter Clinton Ballmann’s plea on Thursday, a count of selling or buying children was dropped.

The Columbia Daily Tribune reports Ballman, of Jefferson City, was arrested April 17 at the Missouri State Capitol as part of a child predator sting by the Boone County Cyber Crimes Task Force.

Prosecutors say Ballmann responded to an online post purporting to be from a 14-year-old girl.

He discussed sex acts he wanted to engage in with the girl. Investigators also uncovered various Columbia Middle School hours and honor rolls during the time Ballman was communicating with the decoy.

Ballmann was a legislative assistant to Rep. Mark Matthiesen, R-Maryland Heights. He was fired after the arrest.

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