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Lock this predator up for as long as possible

Even if he serves the full 42 years in prison that may be imposed for his crimes, Nicholas Cochran could be a threat to society once he is discharged. He is only 28 years old.

Cochran, of Lima, Ohio, has pleaded guilty to charges including sex trafficking of a 14-year-old girl. A plea agreement with federal prosecutors recommends he be sentenced to 27-42 years in prison. A U.S. District Court judge in Columbus will sentence him at a later date.

Last July, the girl was reported missing from her home in Celina. She was with Cochran, who trafficked her in several cities.

Fortunately, as part of a nationwide sting operation against sex offenders, the girl was found and freed last August.

What is especially concerning about Cochran is that he was a convicted sex offender when he began victimizing the girl. He had been convicted of sexual battery in 2009.

Clearly, Cochran is a serial sexual predator. The judge in his case should put him behind bars for as long as the law allows.

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