Sex offender from Warren gets 40 years in prison

MARYSVILLE (AP) – A Warren man and convicted sex offender has been sentenced to 40 years in prison for coaxing a 12-year-old girl to send him sexually explicit photos and videos on her cell phone.

Lauren Kerr Thomas, 56, of Warren was sentenced this week in Union County in central Ohio.

He pleaded guilty to multiple felonies. Thomas’ attorney didn’t immediately return a call for comment today.

Prosecutors said Thomas used a smart phone app to chat with the girl, convincing her that he was a 15-year-old disabled girl. He then instructed her to take the photos and videos of herself.

The child’s parents called Marysville police after they noticed an unusually high amount of phone data being used and questioned the girl.

Authorities say Thomas has previous convictions for sex crimes against children.

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