Austintown Police: Suspect said he wanted teen for ‘dessert’

Police said Harper sent explicit messages to an officer he believed to be a 15-year-old girl

Wayne Harper, charged with importuning and unlawful sexual conduct of a minor in Austintown.
AUSTINTOWN: Arrested Oct. 3 - Wayne Harper, 68, charged with importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, possession of criminal tools, disseminating matter obscene to juveniles, and attempted sexual imposition

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – A 68-year-old Carrollton man is facing charges after a sex sting involving an undercover Austintown officer posing as a teenage girl.

Police said Wayne Harper began communicating with the officer on September 12 after responding to an advertisement in the dating section of a website.

According to a police report, Harper identified himself as “Mike.” When the officer identified himself as a 15-year-old girl, police said Harper responded, “You are very nice for 15. Never change.”

Harper later said, “Well if I want to stay out of jail I must say goodby. I wish you all the best [sic],” but he continued communicating with the girl, according to the report.

Police said Harper asked the officer to come to his house for pizza, later making references to “dessert” after pizza. When asked what was for dessert, Harper said, “You would be dessert,” according to the report.

Police said Harper also made reference to getting in trouble but said “I do want you…” indicating that his “dessert” comments meant sex. He also asked if the teen was on birth control and asked her to send photos of her feet and shoes, according to the report.

As conversations continued, police reported that Harper indicated that he wanted a long-term relationship.

Police identified Harper as the suspect based on photos that were sent to the officer during these conversations.

Harper was arrested on Tuesday when he agreed to meet at a business in Austintown, according to the report. Police reported finding messages from their conversations on his phone as well as a “photo of the girl” as a screensaver.

He’s charged with importuning, attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, possession of criminal tools, disseminating matter obscene to juveniles and attempted sexual imposition.

Harper appeared in court Wednesday, where an $18,500 bond was set. He’s due in court again at 11 a.m. Oct. 11.

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