Trial set in child buying case

Robert Thomas

CLEVELAND (AP) – A Cuyahoga Falls man has pleaded not guilty to federal charges of trying to pay an undercover officer $400 to buy a 10-year-old girl to keep at home for sex, the government said Thursday.

Robert Thomas Jr., 37, was indicted Feb. 13 on one count of offering to buy a child, one count of enticement and one count of receipt and distribution of minors displaying sexual conduct.

He waived his right to a bond hearing when he was arrested last month and will remain incarcerated throughout the trial, which has been set for April 14.

Thomas was arrested last month after allegedly making an online request to arrange a marriage between him and a girl. An undercover officer in Alliance said Thomas told him he wanted to keep the girl at home for sex.

Thomas came to the attention of an Alliance officer who works with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force when Thomas allegedly asked on an online site if anyone was willing to arrange a “marriage” of their daughter.

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