ALLIANCE: A Cuyahoga Falls man was arrested Saturday evening after police said he tried to buy a 10-year-old girl for sex from an undercover officer.
Robert W. Thomas Jr., 36, of the 1900 block of Tudor Street, was arrested in Alliance by authorities about 5:15 p.m. following a weeklong investigation.
Thomas came on the radar of an Alliance police officer who works with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force when he allegedly asked on an online site if anyone was willing to arrange a “marriage” of their daughter to him.
The officer responded to the man and struck up a conversation, police said.
Authorities said Thomas requested a child in the 5- to 8-year-old range and eventually offered to pay $400 for a 10-year-old girl.
The man allegedly told the investigator he wanted to keep the child permanently at his home and engage in sexual conduct with her and “train her to please him,” according to a news release.
A meeting was arranged in the 2300 block of West State Street in Alliance, where police say Thomas arrived with cash to purchase a girl.
After a brief conversation, police said, Thomas went to the vehicle to get the girl and was met instead by a team of officers and taken into custody.
Alliance detectives then obtained a search warrant for the man’s Cuyahoga Falls residence, where they said they seized items that included a computer and electronic storage devices, sexual paraphernalia, videos, several firearms — handguns and assault rifles — along with a rifle with a grenade launcher mounted onto it.
Thomas was charged with trafficking in persons, attempted kidnapping, attempted rape and possession of criminal tools.
He is being held in the Stark County Jail on a $2 million bond and will be arraigned today in Alliance Municipal Court.