YOUNGSTOWN – Jonathan L. Stinnett, 37, of Massillon, Ohio, was sentenced on Wednesday, April 19, 2023, to 30 years in prison by U.S. District Judge Benita Y. Pearson after he pleaded guilty to kidnapping a 5-year-old child and possessing child pornography. Once released from prison, Stinnett will be under court supervision for life.
According to court documents, on November 11, 2021, Stinnett, the boyfriend of the child’s babysitter, took the child during an outing with his girlfriend and the child in Massillon, Ohio. Stinnett left Massillon with the child in his vehicle, disabled his cellular phone, and avoided attempts by his girlfriend and law enforcement to contact him.
Court documents state that more than 24 hours later, law enforcement in McLean County, Illinois, received a call reporting a suspicious vehicle parked on a rural road. Sheriff’s deputies responded and found Stinnett and the child asleep in Stinnett’s vehicle. Stinnett was arrested and the child was returned to her family.
During interviews with investigators from the McLean County Sheriff’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Stinnett admitted taking the child without her mother’s knowledge or consent. Prior to the kidnapping, Stinnett had purchased a new cellular phone and camping equipment that he planned to use as they traveled.
Court documents also show that a search of Stinnett’s vehicle revealed numerous electronic storage devices. One of those devices contained approximately 229 images of child pornography. Stinnett admitted possessing and viewing those images.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Jackson Township Police Department, and the McLean County, Illinois, Sheriff’s Office. This case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Peter E. Daly and Aaron P. Howell.