The fair's temporary police force consisted of about 200 officers.
CANFIELD -- An East Liverpool carnival ride operator arrested at the Canfield Fairgrounds on a rape charge was due in court today.
Jermaine A. Jones, 30, of Orchard Grove Avenue, was held in the Mahoning County Jail pending an appearance in Mahoning County Area Court. He was arrested around 4 p.m. Sunday on the rape charge.
Late Saturday night, a 14-year-old girl who had been reported missing entered the police station at the fairgrounds.
The girl, interviewed by police, said she had been separated from a friend and had been walking around looking for the friend and the friend's mother. Police reports don't list the girl's hometown.
Police did not believe the girl was being truthful, but nothing happened until Sunday afternoon, when the girl reported being raped by a carnival worker late Saturday.
The case was investigated by fairgrounds police and Mahoning County Sheriff's Department detectives.
The fair's temporary police force consisted of about 200 officers who have regular jobs on other forces, said Judge James C. Evans, the fair board member who is in charge of security.
He said fair police couldn't have done anything different to prevent Saturday's occurrence. "There's nothing you can do to protect someone in this situation," he said.
"We at the fair did the initial investigation, then turned it over to the sheriff," he said. He said the sheriff's office was notified immediately.
What she said
In the girl's revised version of what happened, she said she met the worker, whom she knew as Jermaine, early Saturday evening and came in contact with him again while out looking for her friend. She told police that he took her to a bunkhouse where he was staying and forced her to engage in a sex act.
She said she could identify him, and police walked her around the fair. She picked out Jermaine Jones, reports show.
A chair cover and towel were collected at the bunkhouse.
Jones told police that the girl said she was 18 and the sexual contact was consensual, reports show. Police said a witness, whom they would not identify, corroborated Jones' account.
The girl received a rape examination at St. Elizabeth Health Center.