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Springfield Man Charged After Trying to Meet Girl for Sex
CLARK COUNTY -- A 31-year-old Springfield man has been charged with importuning after police say he was making inappropriate comments to numerous underage girls and then tried to set up a meeting with a 14-year-old girl for sex.
When About 5 different Springfield parents took the time to check their teenagers Facebook page, they all noticed the same thing. Their child had been messaging and texting Smith. Because of their calls to police, tonight Smith is behind bars.
Instead of chatting online with the 14-year-old girl, however, Brian L. Smith, 320 N. Jackson St., Springfield, was communicating Oct. 1 with a Bureau of Criminal Investigation agent, who was posing as the girl.
According to an arrest report, Smith asked the agent posing as the girl to meet him Nov. 7 at Snyder Park in Springfield. When Smith showed up at the park, he was arrested and charged with importuning.
Police say Smith used at least three aliases on Facebook, including Brian Smith, Lee Smith and Brianna Smith. We checked the page and couldn't help but notice most of his friends are young girls.
"I think they need to take that Facebook off," said parent Lanna LeValley I think they need to do away with the Facebook,"
Until that happens, it'll be up to the parents. In this case, a few of these girls parents went on their daughters page, noticed conversations with Smith and contacted police.
"That is huge that is immensely great for our community. That we do have parents who are caring enough about their children to be vigilant enough to monitor what their kids are doing on the computer," said Sandy Fent, of the juvenile division of the Crimes Against Persons Unit of the Springfield Police.
Once they heard about it, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation set up a sting with an officer pretending to be 14 years old. Smith agreed to meet in a bathroom at Snyder Park, where Police were waiting. Parents we talked to had one word to describe Smith.
"It is sick. I think it is sick. I really do. That is sick people doing that to kids that sick," said LeValley.
Once Police arrested Smith at Snyder park, he admitted to them that he went there with the intention of having sex with a 14 year old girl.
"I don't even know how people could do that to kids I love kids to death I have two kids myself. If someone did that to my kids I'd probably go crazy I think that is so sick," said LeValley.
"This guy has no criminal record in Springfield," said Fent. "He has no dealing with police other than theft of a bicycle this guy has been under the radar and he's been talking to hundreds of girls. I would just encourage parents to talk to their kids see if they've had contact with him see if he is on their friends list and if he has come in contact with them give us a call."
We called The Ohio Bureau of Criminal Investigation to get a little perspective. They've dealt with a couple hundred crimes against children in the last two years, most cases involve child pornography, but online importuning is a growing problem. They've had nine cases in the last two years, those are just the ones that were reported to them.
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