Police: Youngstown man met undercover officer who he believed was teen boy

AUSTINTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – Police said a Youngstown man tried to solicit sex from an undercover officer that he believed to be a 17-year-old boy.

Gerald Cole, 63, is facing charges of soliciting, disseminating material harmful to minors and possession of criminal tools.

Austintown police said the charges stem from an investigation last month into prostitution in the township.

On June 6, police posted an advertisement on the “Men seeking men” dating section of a website. Police said a week later, Cole responded to the advertisement, sending several text¬†messages requesting to engage in sexual activity.

The officer told Cole that he was a 17-year-old boy named “Ricky” to which Cole responded via text message “No problem,” according to a police report.

Police said Cole continued engaging in obscene conversation with “Ricky,” requesting that he send a photo of his genitals. He then offered to pay him and requested that the boy urinate on him during their encounter.

Cole was arrested after arriving at the pre-arranged meeting spot on Tuesday, according to the report.

Police said he had candy — gummy worms and Lifesaver gummies — when he arrived, as well as a box of condoms, lubricant and $192.

Cole admitted to soliciting who he thought was a teen boy, saying he was lonely and “wanted to try something new,” the police report stated.

Cole appeared in court Wednesday, where he entered no plea to the charges. He is due back in court on August 16, and he was ordered not to use a computer or contact juveniles during that time.