Saturday, March 29, 2003

Three men face charges in separate Internet sex cases

By David Eck
Enquirer contributor



SYCAMORE TOWNSHIP - A Hamilton man is facing a string of felony charges after police say he used Internet chat rooms to arrange a sexual encounter Friday afternoon with someone he thought was a 15-year-old girl.

It was the third such arrest in three days for the Regional Electronic and Computer Investigations (RECI) unit, a joint task force made up of Hamilton County Sheriff's deputies and Cincinnati police detectives.

Brian Arthur Simpson, 40, is charged with one count of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and three counts of importuning. He was arrested about 3:45 p.m. near Montgomery and Kenwood roads.

Police said Simpson used Internet chat rooms to discuss engaging in specific sexual conduct with an undercover RECI detective who was posing as the teen girl.

He was arrested after he showed up at a meeting with the "girl," Hamilton County Sheriff spokesman Steve Barnett said.

A second man, Thomas Tarbay, 48, of Pickerington, Ohio, was arrested 8:30 p.m. Thursday in Blue Ash, near Interstate 71 and Pfeiffer Road. Tarbay was charged with one count of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and five counts of importuning. In a series of chat room conversations, Barnett said, Tarbay discussed engaging in specific sexual conduct with what he thought to be 13- and 15-year-old girls, investigators said. An officer was posing as the girls.

Tarbay also exposed himself via a Web cam, police said.

Earlier, Sean T. Porter, 40, of Bellbrook, Ohio, was charged with one count of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and one count of importuning, both felonies. He was arrested 11 p.m. Wednesday in the same Blue Ash vicinity.

During conversations with someone he thought was a 13-year-old girl, Porter indicated he wanted to meet for sex and to take nude photographs of himself with the juvenile, police said. Porter also e-mailed a nude photo of himself, police said. He was arrested after showing up at the meeting place.

Police said Porter brought his 4-year-old son with him.

"Our computer task force people take very seriously sex offenses against children,'' Barnett said. "We are hanging out in the chat rooms, and these people are coming out of the woodwork."

RECI, formed in 1995 to investigate crimes involving computers, also acts as a resource for law enforcement agencies for computer forensics. The three arrests bring the unit's total this year to seven.


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