A local pastor caught for the second time in a prostitution sting arrived at a local motel with condoms and the exact amount of cash a woman posing as a teenage girl requested.
Pastor Ron Fails of Grace Church World Wide Ministries was charged this week with soliciting, a misdemeanor for a June 18 incident. Fails was taken into custody at a local motel the FBI Violent Crime Against Children Task Force used for the sting, said Sgt. Dave Gillispie of the Lima Police Department and a member of the task force.
The arrest marked the second time Fails has faced the charge. He pleaded no contest to soliciting following his arrest three years ago in a sting. He was sentenced to 10 days in jail. Fails later had the crime expunged from his record.
In the most recent arrest, Fails logged onto a Website known for escort services and prostitution. He responded to an officer who was posing as a 19-year-old girl and made numerous contacts with that person including on the phone, Gillispie said.
“In the conversations he had with this young girl, he had great concerns she was law enforcement,” Gillispie said.
Fails repeatedly asked the girl if she was an officer, Gillispie said.
They agreed to meet, and police arranged the sting. Once officers identified themselves at the motel, Fails tried to talk his way out of it, Gillispie said.
“He proclaimed he was there to counsel,” Gillispie said.
Gillipsie said the evidence clearly tells another story.
“He arrived with the exact amount of money and the receipt shows he got it from an ATM 20 minutes earlier,” Gillispie said.
Furthermore, Gillispie said a person offering counseling does not bring condoms.
“The evidence speaks for itself,” he said.
Fails could not be reached for comment.
An officer with the Allen County Sheriff’s Office also participates in the task force that targets human trafficking and prostitution, which go together. Authorities have made numerous arrests, including women brought in from Toledo and Detroit as prostitutes, Gillispie said.
By Greg Sowinski - The Lima News, Ohio (MCT)
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