A man with sexual motivations who attempted to kidnap an 11-year-old Willard girl has been convicted.
Former Willard resident Robert M. Streit, 32, of Ashland, pleaded guilty Tuesday to one count each of burglary and kidnapping as well as two charges of possession of child-related pornography.
"He's looking at up to 14 years (in prison)," said Huron County Prosecutor Russell Leffler, who agreed to dismiss two other child porn charges in a plea deal. "This is a person we need to keep (away) from society."
The Willard Police Department investigation started in January or February after police received a tip from the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force. Chief Mark Holden has said ICAC officials reported "there was a lot of kiddie porn" coming from Streit's Dale Avenue address.
Officers used a search warrant and seized several computers from Streit's apartment. Holden said authorities found "a considerable amount of kiddie porn" on the computers, which Streit admitted to downloading from April 12, 2011 through Jan. 25.
"He didn't put up any new stuff," Leffler said.
Without access to his computers, Streit focused his attention on the Willard girl. On Sept. 4, Streit found an open door at her residence and went into the apartment, where he tried to kidnap her, authorities said.
The girl managed to stall Streit by saying she needed to get her shoes. The girl, who wasn't injured, awoke her brother, who then woke up their father, who called 9-1-1.
"He didn't get her out of the house," Leffler said.
Within 15 minutes of the attempted kidnapping, an officer found Streit a few blocks away from the family's residence and arrested him.
Streit, a former field artillery soldier, must post a $100,000 bond before being released from the Huron County Jail. He is prohibited from having any association with juveniles if he makes bail.
When asked what prison time he expects to recommend during Streit's Jan. 3 sentencing hearing, Leffler said it "will be close" to the 14-year maximum. Streit's guilty plea came one week before his trial in Huron County Common Pleas Court would have started.