Ohio man accused of soliciting 15-year-old girl in Ritchie County

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An Ohio man has been arrested after troopers said he attempted to solicit a 15-year-old-girl on Craigslist and meet her in Ritchie County.

On Wednesday, March 27, Steven Powell, 37, of Marietta, Ohio posted an ad on Craigslist in the missed connections section, according to West Virginia State Police. Troopers said the ad stated “Just looking for some side action today during the day. Looking for a woman or couple only. Not into guys just not my thing. Send a pic and I will return with one.”

Troopers said Powell’s ad was answered by a 15-year-old girl. The girl sent a message to Powell that stated that she was 15 and in high school in Ritchie County, according to troopers. Troopers said Powell and the girl communicated back and forth between March 27 and April 2 by email and text message. They exchanged messages approximately 200 times and planned to meet on April 2 at a hotel room in Ellenboro, according to police. Troopers also said that Powell sent the girl messages discussing unprotected sex and oral sex.

Powell has been charged with solicitation and soliciting a minor via a computer, according to court documents. He is currently being held at North Central Regional Jail. His bail has been set at $50,000.

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