LOS ANGELES (CBSLA.com) — A retired CHP officer pleaded not guilty Friday to an accusation he pretended to be a teenage girl on a social networking site.

Edward John Hofer, 53, is charged with two counts each of sending harmful matter to a minor, possession of child pornography and contact with a minor for sexual offense.

The DA said Hofer pretended to be a teenage girl to coerce minors into sexual situations.

Hofer is accused of creating the fake persona on Tagged.com where he “met” and manipulated an 11-year-old boy and a 15-year-old girl, according to the District Attorney’s Office.

Prosecutors claim he sent the minors sexual material and contacted them for the purposes of committing a sex crime.

Hofer was released from jail in April after posting $90,000 bond. He retired from the CHP in 2012. He last worked out of Torrance.

If convicted on all charges, Hofer faces up to six years and four months in state prison.

His next court date is Sept. 20, when a date is expected to be set for a preliminary hearing.

(©2013 CBS Local Media, a division of CBS Radio Inc. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. Wire services contributed to this report.)



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