Police sprung online trap to catch Cuyahoga Falls man who offered to pay $400 for 10-year-old girl

ALLIANCE, Ohio - Seven guns - including a grenade launcher and a loaded pistol - sexual devices and aids and computer equipment were seized from the home of a man accused of trying to buy a 10-year-old girl Saturday in Alliance.

Robert W. Thomas Jr., 36, of Cuyahoga Falls appeared in Alliance Municipal Court on Monday.  His $2 million bond was continued and a public defender was appointed to his case.

Thomas was arrested after police said he posted on a website that he was looking for anyone willing to arrange a “marriage” between him and their daughter.  

An officer from Alliance who works with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force saw the posting and responded to Thomas.

According to a press release, Thomas requested that the child be between the ages of five to eight, and that he wished to keep the child permanently and “train her to please him.”

The task force officer arranged a meeting with Thomas, where the release states Thomas was going to pay $400 for a 10-year-old girl. Instead of making a purchase, Thomas was arrested.

"There is always a concern that this may have went even further than he had told us. Like I said, we're just thankful that we're the ones he was communicating with and not an actual parent or adult that was looking to sell an actual child," said Alliance Detective Matt Shatzer.

Police say Thomas works as an auto mechanic and does not have a prior criminal record, aside from A DUI. Shatzer said Thomas is not married and does not have any children.

Thomas is charged with trafficking in persons, attempted kidnapping, attempted rape, and possessing criminal tools. He is being held in Stark County Jail.

Alliance Police were assisted in this investigation by the Canton office of FBI, and by the Cuyahoga Falls Police Department.

Thomas is scheduled to appear in court again Jan. 17.


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