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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, October 24, 2014

Pataskala Man Sentenced To 144 Months For Attempting To Engage In Sexual Activty With A Minor


COLUMBUS, OHIO – Richard Roman, 42, of Pataskala, Ohio was sentenced in U.S. District Court to 144 months in prison and 20 years supervised release for attempting to engage in unlawful sexual activity with a minor.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio and Mark Porter, Special Agent in Charge, U.S. Secret Service (USSS) and members of the Franklin County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force announced the sentence handed down today by U.S. District Court Judge Algenon L. Marbley.

According to court documents, Roman was discovered by undercover agents with the Franklin County ICAC Task Force after he posted a classified on Craigslist.org titled “I wanna be your Daddy.” On January 16, Roman communicated with undercover agents to arrange what he believed would be a sexual encounter with an 11-year-old female.

Subsequent to these communications, Roman was placed under arrest by members of the ICAC Task Force. Investigators discovered candy, a flower, chewing gum, condoms and a bottle of personal lubricant in Roman’s vehicle.

“Although the defendant’s offense in this case fortunately did not involve a real child, the defendant’s words and actions explicitly demonstrate that he had every intention to sexually abuse an 11-year-old child on repeated occasions” Assistant U.S. Attorney Heather Hill told the court.

Roman pleaded guilty on May 8 to one count of attempting to coerce or entice a minor to engage in unlawful sexual activity. Roman has been in custody since his arrest.

The Franklin County ICAC Task Force is a multi-agency effort dedicated to the fight against computer facilitated crimes against children. The following agencies are members:

Franklin County Sheriff’s Office                          Upper Arlington Police Department
Grove City Police Department                              Columbus Police Department
Grandview Heights Police Department            Whitehall Police Department
Hilliard Police Department                                    Westerville Police Department
Homeland Security Investigations                     U.S. Secret Service
Ohio ICAC                                                                     Franklin County Prosecutor's Office

This case is being brought as part of Project Safe Childhood, a nationwide initiative by the Department of Justice to combat the growing epidemic of child sexual exploitation and abuse. Led by United States Attorney's Offices and the Criminal Division's Child Exploitation and Obscenity Section (CEOS), Project Safe Childhood marshals federal, state and local resources to better locate, apprehend and prosecute individuals who exploit children as well as to identify and rescue victims.

U.S. Attorney Stewart commended the investigation by the USSS, as well as Assistant United States Attorney Heather Hill and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Rausch, who represented the United States in this case. 

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Updated July 23, 2015