By Shereen Siewert

WAUSAU — A 32-year-old Plover man is behind bars Monday after being snared in an undercover child sex sting in which he allegedly sent messages asking to “try for a baby” with a person he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

Police say Christopher Smith communicated repeatedly with the “girl,” who was really an undercover officer. He was arrested April 18 after he drove from his Plover home to Weston, allegedly to meet the “teen” in person.

The communication began in mid-April and quickly escalated to a conversation about sex and marriage, according to court filings.

Smith now faces charges of child enticement, using a computer to facilitate a child sex crime and soliciting an intimate representation from a minor. The charges, filed April 22 in Marathon County Circuit Court, carry a combined maximum penalty of more than 68 years in the Wisconsin Prison System and up to $135,000 in fines.

During an initial appearance Monday, Circuit Judge Greg Strasser ordered Smith held on a $25,000 bond, the first $5,000 of which must be paid in cash. He remains jailed as of Monday afternoon.

A preliminary hearing is set for May 1.