From staff, wire reports
CLEVELAND: A Cuyahoga Falls man has been indicted on federal charges of trying to pay an undercover officer $400 to buy a 10-year-old girl to keep at home for sex, the government said Thursday.
The three-count indictment against Robert Thomas Jr., 37, was announced by the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the FBI.
Thomas also was charged with using the Internet to try to entice a girl to have sex with him and with downloading images of minors involved in sex acts.
“The conduct laid out in the indictment should sound an alarm for all parents,” U.S. Attorney Steven Dettelbach said. “We will remain vigilant in protecting our children from predators.”
Thomas’ attorney did not respond to messages left at his law office for comment.
Thomas was arrested last month after authorities said he made an online request to arrange a marriage. An undercover officer in Alliance said Thomas told him he wanted to keep a girl at home for sex.
Thomas came to the attention of an Alliance officer, who works with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, when Thomas allegedly asked on an online site if anyone was willing to arrange a “marriage” of their daughter.
“Thomas told [the undercover agent] that the younger the better and [he] was asking for a juvenile female between the ages of 5 to 8,” Alliance police Detective Matthew Shatzer wrote in an affidavit used to procure a search warrant of Thomas’ house.
Eventually, Thomas agreed to pay $400 “to purchase a 10-year-old female that he could keep,” Shatzer wrote. “Thomas wrote [in an email] that he wanted to have fun with her and make her his ‘slut.’ ”