Youngstown man nabbed in underage sex sting

Staff report


Police arrested a Youngstown man on charges of soliciting an underage male for sex via text message Tuesday on South Raccoon Road.

Gerald Cole, 63, of Cameron Avenue in Youngstown, is charged with soliciting sex, disseminating matter harmful to juveniles and possessing criminal tools.

Cole answered an ad police posted on an online classifieds website by texting the listed number June 13 and soliciting oral sex, a police report said.

Police posed as a 17-year-old boy named “Ricky” while in contact with Cole. Ricky informed Cole that we was underage, but Cole reportedly replied: “No problem.” Police continually informed Cole he was speaking with a minor, the report said.

Cole reportedly continued to solicit the minor for sex, initially offering $50, and then $100 shortly after. Cole contacted the minor several times from June 13 to Aug. 1, the report says.

He reportedly sent sexually oriented material to the minor via text message.

According to the police report, Ricky asked Cole to bring gummy worms upon meeting, stating: “I’m sure we can have fun with those.”

Items confiscated from Cole were condoms, a box of personal lubricant, two bags of gummies, a cellphone and $192, the report said.

Police set up a time on June 13 for Cole to meet Ricky, but he did not meet with the minor due to a car accident, the report said.

Upon contact with police, Cole reportedly said he blames his actions on “being lonely and wanting to try something new.”

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