MISSOULA, Mont. -

A child sex sting in Missoula involving an undercover detective posing as an adult female willing to prostitute her 12-year-old female relative has led to felony child sex abuse charges against seven adults.

The Missoulian reports that six men and one woman appeared in Missoula County Justice Court Friday following arrests earlier in the week.

Appearing in court were 22-year-old Matthew Steven Keith, 29-year-old Jenna Elizabeth Davis, 36-year-old Chad Lee Briggs, 30-year-old Christopher Michael Cooper, 54-year-old Neal Lewis Gray, 28-year-old Justin Gale Walker and James Stewart Myers.

Police say the seven responded to advertisements on websites. When they arrived at a location to meet the girl they were taken into custody.

Missoula County Sheriff's Capt. Mike Dominick says the operation was a pre-emptive measure to protect children.

Preliminary hearings are set for Jan. 2.