Alliance police thwart Cuyahoga Falls man's quest for child bride

By STEPHANIE UJHELYI The Review (Alliance) Published:

A Cuyahoga Falls man remains in Stark County Jail in lieu of $2 million cash or surety bond, after city police interrupt his planned first date with tot bride. 

Robert William Thomas Jr., 36, was arrested at 5:15 p.m. Saturday in the 2300 block of West State Street in Alliance on charges of trafficking in persons, a first-degree felony; attempted kidnapping, a second-degree felony; attempted rape, a third-degree felony; and possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.

Alliance police, working with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, responded to Thomas' alleged online request, seeking anyone who would arrange a "marriage" of their 5- to 8-year-old daughter to him for $400 in cash. He came to Alliance to meet the undercover officer, who had agreed to facliitate the purchase of his 10-year-old daughter who would be kept permanently at his home for sexual activity and be trained to "please him," according to the report. 

However, after arriving at the Alliance location, Thomas, with his money in hand, found no child --just a van full of police officers who promptly arrested him. 

Execution of a search warrant at Thomas' home netted collection of his computer, electronic storage devices, sexual paraphernalia, videos and various firearms, including a rifle with a grenade launcher. 

He is to be arraigned this afternoon in Alliance Municipal Court via video technology. 

If convicted of all crimes as charged, Thomas faces up to 24 years in prison and $47,500 in fines. 

RELATED STORY: State looks to draw attention to human trafficking (with video), Jan. 10, 2014

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