Police in Madison Township, Ohio, have arrested a 19-year-old man for criminal trespass in addition to allegedly disseminating harmful materials and possessing criminal tools. The charges come after the man attempted to visit a girl he had met online at a creative writing website. He was taken into custody on March 30 and will now face criminal prosecution.
In this case, the young man was reportedly trying to visit a ninth-grade girl that he had met through the website. The girl had given the man her home address, and he visited the house on March 27. However, the girl's mother found out and told him to leave. He also allegedly sent the girl a picture of his genitalia that he took with his cellphone.
While the young man's actions in visiting the girl may strike some as inappropriate, they are not necessarily criminal. He left after the girl's mother requested that he leave, and seems to have been invited over by the girl, which may call the charge of criminal trespass into question. Additionally, although a local news story stressed that he was picked up near the girl's school, the location where he was found was the Madison Public Library.
Incidents like this one are not always cut and dry. As was the case in this situation, parents often prompt an arrest, sometimes upset if their child is spending time with someone they don't know. While prosecutors are under a lot of pressure to get conviction in sex crimes cases, they still bear a burden of proof that is not always easily met.
Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer, "Connecticut man arrested after going to Madison High School to meet students he befriended online," Tonya Sams, April 5, 2012