An Ohio man thought he was talking to a 15-year old boy, but in reality it was a fake profile created by local police to arrest him for crimes he allegedly committed.
Police targeted Youngstown student Albert Maruna IV using an online dating profile, according to PinkNews. After they sent him a series of nude photos and exchanged explicit messages under the fake profile, police arranged to meet with Maruna, where they arrested him.
According to CBS Pittsburgh, Murana was caught with lubricant, two bottles of sprite and chicken Alfredo which he was allegedly trying to trade for sex. Maruna said to police that he did not believe in age for consent.
Not everyone supported the police’s methods of talking to Maruna. Hit and Run blog writer Elizabeth Nolan Brown questioned how the police led on Maruna to believe he was talking to someone real.
“Maruna was preyed on by police who pretended to be interested and said exactly what he wanted to hear, even after realizing the emotional attachment he was developing and the potential psychological effect this was having on him,” she said. “And now he will likely be branded a sex offender and a pedophile for life.”
Maruna was charged with importuning, possessing criminal tools, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and attempted unlawful conduct with a minor.