Austintown man accused of soliciting minor | News, Sports, Jobs | #childpredator | #kidsaftey | #childsaftey

AUSTINTOWN — An Austintown man is in jail after being accused of attempting to solicit sex from a minor online.

Christopher Skarp, 36, of Woodleigh Lane, was arrested Tuesday at Libbee Field on Kimberly Avenue in the township after police set up a sting by posing as a minor on the internet.

Skarp appeared Wednesday morning in Mahoning County Austintown Court. Judge Scott Hunter imposed a $9,000 cash or surety bond and set a preliminary hearing for Dec. 6.

Skarp is charged with importuning, attempting to commit a sex crime, and possession of criminal tools — namely, his mobile phone. All charges are fourth- or fifth-degree felonies. Importuning is persistent harassment of someone for or to do something.

According to an Austintown police report, Skarp was identified as a possible sexual predator after he allegedly attempted to upload an image of child pornography using a mobile device.

The Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force received a cyber tip about the upload from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children . That agency received notification about the content from Syncronoss Technologies Inc., the company that provides cloud storage for Verizon. The report states the alleged upload occurred Sept. 4.

The NCMEC forwarded the alert to the Ohio task force, along with other information police then used to identify the online user.

The Ohio task force passed the information on to Austintown Police on Oct. 12. The police report does not state when the online interaction between police and Skarp occurred.

On Tuesday, police waited for Skarp to arrive at the field, where they conducted a traffic stop and arrested him.

Skarp was interviewed and then transferred to Mahoning County jail.

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