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Published: Saturday, 5/8/2004

Mt. Gilead man arrested in chat-room sex sting

LIMA, Ohio - Police arrested a Mt. Gilead, Ohio, man who showed up in Lima Thursday night expecting to have sex with what he thought was a 14-year-old girl.

Jerome T. Patrick, 40, was charged with importuning after the young girl he met in an Internet chat room turned out to be an undercover Lima police officer. Police said he solicited the girl for sex and offered to bring alcohol and provide her money for marijuana to ease any fears she had.

Mr. Patrick is the 26th person to be arrested by Lima police for attempting to solicit children for sex on the Internet since the department's Proactive Crime Enforcement unit began investigating such activity in 2002.

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