POMEROY — For the second time in a month, the Meigs County Sheriff’s Office has arrested an individual who was allegedly attempting to meet a teenager for sex.
Last week, James M. Morger, 29, of Loveland (near Cincinnati) was arrested on charges of disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile and importuning, both fourth-degree felonies.
Meigs County Prosecutor James K. Stanley stated that Morger appeared in Meigs County Court on the charges last week with the case set for a preliminary hearing this Thursday.
The disseminating charge relates to Morger allegedly sending a picture of his genitalia to a 14-year old female, while the importuning charge falls under the classification as law enforcement posing as the 14 year old whom Morger allegedly thought he was soliciting for sex.
Morger was arrested in Middleport after allegedly driving from the Cincinnati area to meet the girl.
Bond for Morger was set at $100,000 with 10 percent permitted as requested by Stanley. Morger is also being held on a warrant from Warren County on a probation violation which was filed on Jan. 18.
Morger previously pleaded guilty in Warren County to possession of marijuana, attempted illegal manufacture of drugs, and child endangering. According to a report from the Warren County Prosecutor following the case, while executing a search warrant to investigate charges of dissemination indecent material, the Clearcreek Township Police Department discovered that Morger was manufacturing hash oil from marijuana. Morger was sentenced to a total of three years in prison.
According to reports in the Dayton Daily News at the time Morger pleaded guilty in the case, charges of possession of criminal tools, disseminating material harmful to juveniles, trafficking in marijuana and possession of drugs were dismissed.
According to the article, the case against Morger began during an investigation into an allegation of sexual abuse between a boy under the age of 16, and girl under 13, who met at school in Springboro, according to police. The boy was ultimately sentenced to detention on a rape charge.
After pulling data from the girl’s phone, Clearcreek Twp. Police Sgt. Larry Cornett found evidence that the girl had been approached via text message and other digital messaging services “by unknown subjects requesting nude pictures and sexually explicit conversations. The victim sent nude and sexually explicit photographs electronically to the unknown subjects,” Cornett said in a search warrant affidavit. An FBI agent subpoenaed a phone number that led to Morger, according to the affidavit.
Morger was sentenced in April 2015 to serve three years in prison, with an agreement to judicial release after one year. Judicial release was granted in May 2016, with Morger subsequently placed on community control according to court documents.
The case against Morger comes just weeks after the arrest of a Coolville man on similar charges.
Michael B. Smith, 22, was arrested on Jan. 6 on fifth degree felony charges of importuning and disseminating matter harmful to juveniles after he was alleged to have attempted to meet a 13 year old for sex.
Smith has pleaded innocent to the charges and was released on bond in the case.
Stanley said on Tuesday that the case has not yet been presented to a grand jury.