WAKEMAN - A southern Ohio man has been indicted in connection with a joint investigation by the Wakeman Police Department and the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children's Taskforce (OICAC).
Scott D. Sims, 25, of McArthur, was charged with two felony counts of importuning, stemming from online conversations with Wakeman Police Officer Josh Rice who was posing as a 14-year-old girl. The indictment was handed down within the last two weeks by a Vinton County grand jury. Sims is the fifth suspect busted during the ongoing Wakeman online sex sting operation that started in October.
"He's not in jail yet," said a Vinton County Sheriff's Office dispatcher this morning.
Rice said he and Sims talked online in a chatroom "a couple times a week" starting in January and Sims began having sexual conversations with the undercover officer "within a minute or two."
"They're all that way," Rice added about online sex predators' tendencies.
Sims wanted to know if Rice had a Web cam.
"He wanted me to show myself. He then showed himself (to me)," Rice said. "He wanted to see me naked."
At the same time Rice was having the online conversations with Sims, an OICAC investigator was posing online as a 12-year-old girl.
"We were working the case at the same time. We were chatting (with Sims) at (different) times," Rice explained.
After Rice and the OICAC investigator gathered information for the Vinton County Sheriff's Office, deputies turned the case over to prosecutors. Sims is expected to be arraigned Aug. 24 in Vinton County Common Pleas Court.
Chief Tim Hunker applauded the online efforts in pursuing suspected sex predators.
"I just want to say how proud I am of these investigations and the dedication of our officers to this program," he said.
McArthur, Sims' hometown, is the county seat of Vinton County, which is bordered by Ross, Hocking, Athens, Meigs, Galia, Jackson and Pike counties.