WINCHESTER, Ind. — An Ohio man was arrested after traveling across state lines in order to meet what he believed was a 13-year-old girl at the Winchester Walmart. Instead, the Ohio man was confronted by a group of online predator catchers who called the police.
Aaron B. Clark, 27, of Liberty Township, Ohio, is charged with attempted child molesting, a Level 1 felony, and child solicitation, a Level 4 felony.
According to court documents, Clark had been communicating with a decoy posing as a 13-year-old girl through the app Her. The decoy, a member of Predator Catchers Incorporated, showed officers text messages allegedly sent by Clark that included several sexual messages.
“I’ll make you feel really good,” Clark reportedly messaged the supposed 13-year-old.
Clark ended up setting up a meeting with the “child” on Nov. 4 at the Winchester Walmart. But in the electronics section of the store, he didn’t meet a young girl but instead was confronted by the child predator group.
Police arrived at the scene and took Clark into custody. Officers attempted to interview Clark but Clark asked for an attorney. He was then booked into the Randolph County Jail.
A member of the predator catcher group told police that originally he told Clark that he was speaking to a 14-year-old girl. He then reportedly messaged Clark while pretending to be the underage girl and said that really she was just 13 years old.
Clark is accused of responding with a message saying, “How long do you think I would wait?”
In Indiana, a Level 1 felony carries a sentencing range of 20 to 40 years.
According to Randolph County Prosecutor David Daly, Clark’s high-level felony charge stems from the potential victim being under the age of 14 and the alleged perpetrator being above the age of 21, which elevates a Level 3 felony to a Level 1 offense.