Police: Lisbon man sent explicit messages to officer posing as teen boy

Matthew Earl was arrested last week on importuning and possession of criminal tools charges

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – A Lisbon man is scheduled to appear in court Monday on sex charges.

Matthew Earl, 36, was arrested last week on importuning and possession of criminal tools charges.

The charges stem from an Austintown Police Department investigation into prostitution in the area.

An undercover officer posted an advertisement to Backpage.com’s “Men seeking men dating section.” That officer then received a text message from a man who identified himself as “Slave” and said he was “looking for some hot fun” according to a police report.

Police said “Slave” began having a sexually explicit conversation with the undercover officer and agreed to pay him for sex. The officer told “Slave” he was 15, and police said the man said he was shocked by his age but continued sending sexually explicit messages.

Police said the man agreed to meet him at an Austintown hotel, telling the officer to bring dirty underwear for their encounter.

Police checked the registration at the hotel and found a guest, registered as Matthew Earl, with the same phone number as the man who had been texting the undercover officer. Police said there was also a truck in the parking lot registered to Earl’s home address.

A warrant was issued for Earl’s arrest after further investigation, and Earl was picked up by authorities on Thursday.