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Published: Tuesday, 9/9/2008

Michigan man guilty of trying to arrange sex with a minor

A Hillsdale County man who believed he was online with a 14-year-old Ohio girl when he engaged in sexually explicit conversations was found guilty yesterday of trying to arrange sex with a minor.

Garry Ritchey, 36, pleaded no contest in Lucas County Common Pleas Court to one count each of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and attempt to commit unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. He faces up to 2 1/2 years in prison when sentenced Oct. 6.

Married for 16 years and the father of two children, Ritchey had been engaged in online conversations with a Toledo police detective.

The 15 sexually explicit conversations were done via instant messaging between April 22 and July 10, county Assistant Prosecutor Ian English said.

At one point, Ritchey identified himself by name and sent a physical description, including a photograph, Mr. English said.

Ritchey was arrested July 10 on Shawnee Road near Trilby Park after setting up a meeting with the detective, who continued to pose as a teenage girl. Mr. English said the purpose of the meeting was sexual intercourse.

Judge Denise Ann Dartt referred Ritchey to the Court Diagnostic and Treatment Center for evaluation. He is free on his own recognizance until sentencing.

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