A man in West Virginia was accused of trying to arrange sex with a teenage girl in the Cleveland area. However, the “girl” was not in fact a girl at all; it was actually an investigator employed by the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force who had been communicating with the man online.
According to police, the 56-year-old man began speaking with the investigator on Aug. 8 via Facebook. He sent explicit pictures to the investigator and made plans to come to Cleveland to meet her. He was later arrested in the parking lot of a church on Sept. 15. Police claim that the man confessed to committing internet sex crimes, saying that he had sex toys, lingerie and a teddy bear waiting in his hotel room for the imaginary girl. He also admitted to speaking with other children about sex online.
The man appeared in Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court to be charged for the alleged internet sex crimes. However, it is expected that the U.S. Attorney’s Office will take up the case, so it’s likely that the initial local charges will later be dropped.
According to the complaint, the man asked the under-cover agent if she was a police officer because he was worried about their age difference. He also sent her photographs of the gifts he had purchased. Furthermore, he texted her a picture of the Ohio visitor’s center. Authorities arrested him immediately after he entered the parking lot of the church.
At this time, it is important to note that we have only heard one side of the story in this case. Any individual accused of an internet sex crime will have the ability to defend him- or herself in court against the charges. Furthermore, the individual will not be convicted of the alleged crimes unless prosecutors can prove also that the individual is guilty of the allegations beyond a reasonable doubt.
Source: cleveland.com, “West Virginia man drove to Brook Park to have sex with 14-year-old, authorities say,” Eric Heisig, Sep. 22, 2016