Timothy Taffe
Timothy Taffe was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison after trying to groom a 14-year-old girlBroward Sheriff's Office Handout

A 71-year-old church volunteer offered a 14-year-old girl his BMW car and money from his pension in exchange for sex in Florida.

Church greeter Timothy Taffe offered the girl alcohol, asked her to be his "secret friend" and even took photos of the girl at the church before he sent her lewd photographs of himself.

Taffe had volunteered as a greeter at St. Benedict's Episcopal Church in Plantation, Fort Lauderdale, where he met the girl, who had told him repeatedly that she was 14-years-old.

The pensioner was arrested in October at the Westfield Broward mall thinking he was on a sex date with the girl when, in fact, he was meeting undercover agents from the FBI and from Plantation Police.

The pervert had been sending inappropriate messages and graphic photos of himself for weeks before he arranged the sex "date" with the girl.

The girl's grandmother discovered an email exchange and told Father Alberto Cutie at the church, according to court records.

Taffe, an insurance broker, was then ousted from the congregation in the month before his arrest, according to the Sun Sentinel.

On Monday (17 April), US District Judge William Zloch handed Taffe a 10-year prison sentence followed by 25 years of supervised release, after he admitted a federal charge of attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity.

Taffe will also be ordered to register as a sex offender and undergo sex offender treatment while in prison after he admitted aggressively pursuing the girl, who has not been named for legal reasons.

The court had heard how Taffe had promised to give her his car and his "inheritance" in exchange for sex.

'The Devil had control of me'

The Sentinel reported that Taffe claimed he was playing out "dark, fictional fantasies" in his mind, and added during the hearing: "I think the Devil really had control of me in those filthy conversations.

"I've never been a child molester. I've never been a pervert," he said according to the newspaper.

Prosecuting, Jodi Anton told of Taffe's escalating behaviour, which included harassing girls and trying to groom several young teens.

She said: "You can see there's a predatory problem with women and particularly young girls. The defendant has a problem."