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Man caught in sting pleads to 3 sex charges

YOUNGSTOWN — Scotty L. Akins, 33, one of 20 men arrested in a sex sting operation in August, pleaded guilty Tuesday to three low-level felony offenses and will be sentenced later.

Akins, of Gladstone Street, Campbell , pleaded guilty before Judge R. Scott Krichbaum of Mahoning County Common Pleas Court to importuning, disseminating matter harmful to minors and possessing criminal tools.

Importuning is soliciting another person below a certain age to engage in sexual activity with the offender. The criminal-tools offense relates to using a cellphone while committing the crimes.

Akins was indicted on a higher-level felony of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, but that charge is being eliminated in exchange for Akins’ guilty plea to the three other offenses.

Akins could get up to three years in prison when he is sentenced at 10 a.m. Feb. 2, after the Community Corrections Association of Youngstown carries out a presentence investigation of Akins’ background.

Prosecutors are recommending that Akins get an unspecified period of jail time and no prison. As a convicted sex offender, Akins must register his address with the sheriff where he lives once per year for 15 years.

Krichbaum allowed Akins to remain free on bond.

The sex sting carried out in August was called Operation Full Court Press, which was run by the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office. It targeted people seeking to have sex with minors, according to the sheriff’s office.

“We draw them in to come to Mahoning County to have sex with an underage male or female,” said Sheriff Jerry Greene. “They come to us and we arrest them.”

Most of the men were from the area, but others were from in North Canton, Mantua and Atwater, as well as Pittsburgh and Beaver Falls, Pa.

The occupations of those arrested included laborers, a butcher, an engineer, a construction company owner, insurance salesman and a mechanic, the sheriff’s office said.

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