Cuyahoga Falls man allegedly attempts to buy 10-year-old for sex

ALLIANCE – A 36-year-old man was arrested in Alliance Saturday after allegedly attempting to buy an underage girl to work as his sex slave.

Alliance police announced the arrest occurred following a week-long investigation by an officer who also works on the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.

According to police, the man posted on an online site asking for anyone willing to arrange a “marriage” of their daughter to him. He included on the post that he was in northeast Ohio and would pay money for a child between 5 and 8 years of age.

The officer contacted the man as someone responding to the post and began a conversation that led to the man allegedly offering to pay $400 cash for a 10-year-old girl.

The man wished to keep the girl permanently at his home and engage in sexual conduct with her, and to “train her to please him,” according to the department’s report.

The undercover officer arranged a meeting with the man in the 2300 block of West State Street in Alliance Saturday shortly after 5 p.m. The man, identified as Robert W. Thomas Jr., of Tudor Street in Cuyahoga Falls, arrived with cash in hand to purchase the child, police said.

He was arrested after going to a vehicle to obtain her and was met instead by a team of officers who took him in custody, according to the report.

Following the arrest Alliance detectives obtained a search warrant on his home in Cuyahoga Falls and found several firearms, including handguns and assault rifles, and even one rifle with a grenade launcher mounted on it.

The firearms were seized from the home, along with a computer and electronic storage devices and sexual paraphernalia videos, police said.

Thomas is charged with trafficking in persons, a first-degree felony; attempt to commit kidnapping, a second-degree felony; attempt to commit rape, a third-degree felony; and possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony. He is being held in the Stark County jail on a $2 million bond and will appear in Alliance Municipal Court today for an arraignment.

Cuyahoga Falls police and the Canton office of the FBI assisted with the investigation.