A rural New London man who reportedly admitted to soliciting sex from a 13-year-old girl is out on bond.
"She's an Ashland County resident, but the crime occurred in Huron County," said Huron County Sheriff's Detective Bill Duncan, who investigated the case.
Elliot J.M. Shepherd II, 26, of 2678 Jennings Road, New London, is charged with importuning in connection with a suspected incident Oct. 19, according to Norwalk Municipal Court records. If convicted of the fifth-degree felony, he faces six to 12 months behind bars. Duncan defined importuning as soliciting sexual activity from someone who is underage.
The sheriff's office received a report Tuesday in which Shepherd was accused of inappropriately touching and soliciting sex from the girl, Duncan said.
The girl was interviewed Wednesday morning.
"Evidence was collected that supported her allegations," said Duncan, who didn't elaborate on the specific evidence. "A report documenting her statement was forwarded to the Norwalk law director that day."
Shepherd came to the station Thursday.
"He admitted to the victim's allegations were true. His description of their relationship with the victim is quite disturbing and in stark contrast to her feelings," Duncan said.
Shepherd said his relationship with the girl was "much more serious" than what she said it was, the detective added.
"He described their relationship (as what) two adults would have and she's a 14-year-old kid. His relationship was light years from what she said," Duncan said.
The detective declined to say if Shepherd described his suspected relationship with the girl as sexual, but he said there are more interviews to be done in the ongoing investigation.
Deputies arrested Shepherd on the importuning warrant Thursday. He was transported to the Huron County Jail, where he posted a $10,000 bond that night.
Shepherd, who has no prior felony convictions, is prohibited from having any direct or indirect association with any non-family members who are younger than 18, according to Duncan and court records.
The suspect's preliminary hearing is scheduled for Friday. Shepherd can waive his right for the state to present evidence and the case would be transferred to Huron County Common Pleas Court for a possible grand jury indictment.