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Police: Man had sex with teen after Facebook talks

Annie Zelm • Jun 29, 2011 at 8:03 AM

A Norwalk man is facing time behind bars after admitting he had sex with a 15-year-old girl he thought was 16, police said.

Garrett Espinoza, 20, was charged with unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony carrying a sentence of up to 18 months in prison.

Norwalk police said Espinoza and the Monroeville girl met through a mutual friend several months ago and began chatting on Facebook.

When they met for the first time in person and watched a movie together, Espinoza made sexual advances and ultimately convinced the girl to have sex, Norwalk police Capt. Mike Conney said.

The girl's mother contacted police June 11 after she saw sexually explicit conversations between the two on the girl's Facebook page.

Police interviewed the girl and Espinoza, who both admitted they had sex, Conney said.

Espinoza told police he talked to the girl online, but she indicated she was 16 years old, the age of consent in Ohio. He was unable to provide police any documentation of those conversations.

Norwalk law director Douglas Clifford determined there was enough evidence to charge Espinoza, so a warrant was issued for his arrest.

Espinoza turned himself in Sunday and was taken to the Huron County jail.

A bail bondsman has since posted his $10,000 bond, according to a jail spokesman. Espinoza does not appear to have a prior criminal history in Huron County, according to court records.

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