CONNEAUT, Ohio - A 24-year-old man is under arrest after police say he passed himself off as a 17-year-old and had sex with a 14-year-old girl.
Madison Township police arrested Shawn Snyder, of Conneaut, on warrants of two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, which is a felony of the fourth degree.
“He made friends with them on Facebook, young impressionable females, believed he was a 17-year-old man,” said Det. Timothy Doyle.
Snyder allegedly said he also was a student attending Conneaut High School.
Police said they were aware of two other incidents in Lake and Ashtabula counties in which Snyder posed as a teenager and engaged in relationships with 14 and 15-year-old girls.
“He's a kind person. I don't understand how this even got started,” said Bonnie Snyder, mother of Shawn Snyder, who was in shock that her son is facing such charges.
She and other family members said they believe he was set up by his victims.
“They use him very easy. They used him,” Bonnie Snyder said.
“Shawn is sitting in jail because some girl decided to lie about it,” said Nicole Snyder, the suspect's niece.
Bonnie Snyder said her son liked to talk online, but she believed he did so innocently.
“He's a kind, understanding, do anything for you, no matter who you are. If he can do anything for you, he'll help you,” she said.
Police said there may be more victims who haven't come forward yet. If so, they are asked to contact Madison Township police at 440-428-2117 or their respective police department.
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