News and Press Releases

Ohio man sentenced to 14 years in prison for attempting to entice a minor

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 1, 2010

An Ohio man, who is a registered sex offender, was sentenced to 14 years in prison for arranging a sexual encounter with an undercover officer posing as the father of an underage girl.

Theodore Harmon, 56, of Napoleon, Ohio, was convicted at trial of attempting to entice a minor to engage in sexual activity by using the Internet and a cell phone.

Harmon was arrested after he traveled from his home to Rossford, Ohio, to have sex with an underage female. At the time of his arrest, various sex toys, condoms, bondage ropes and alcohol were discovered in the trunk of his vehicle, according to court documents.

“This sentence sends a strong message and speaks to the threat posed by this defendant,” said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.

“Today’s sentencing reflects the federal law enforcement’s strong commitment to protecting children, our most vulnerable population,” said William Hayes, acting special agent in charge, HSI Detroit. “HSI will continue to proactively seek out individuals attempting to ensnare children for their perverse sexual desires.”

According to an affidavit filed in the case, an undercover investigator patrolling the Internet on found a classified ad placed by Harmon seeking a father-daughter sexual encounter. The investigator, posing as the father of a 14-year-old daughter, responded to Harmon’s ad. Harmon quickly turned the correspondence sexual and described in graphic details his plans for the minor.

The two continued to exchange messages until when they arranged to meet. When Harmon arrived for the meeting, agents arrested him.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Gene Crawford following an investigation by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

As part of Operation Predator, HSI encourages the public to report suspected child predators and any suspicious activity through its toll-free hotline at 1-866-DHS-2ICE or its online tip form. Suspected child sexual exploitation or missing children may be reported to the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children, an Operation Predator partner, at 1-800-843-5678 or http://www.cybertipline.com.

 

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