CANTON, Ohio — The Canton Police Department said it is investigating a YouTube video that allegedly shows a coach attempting to meet someone he thought was a 15-year-old juvenile. However, police say they are unsure a successful prosecution will be possible.
Over the weekend a Canton City School District coach was placed on administrative leave after a video allegedly showed him meeting what he thought was a minor. Police said they are investigating the incident as a possible attempted importuning violation. Canton police chief Jack Angelo said that encounters like this are difficult to prosecute because they do not involve law enforcement or an actual juvenile victim.
“While we have no doubt the intentions of the video posted were good, we do not encourage this type of action. Anyone who believes they have evidence of any crime should contact their local law enforcement agency,” Angelo said in a statement.
Canton City Schools have not identified the coach and did not say what sport he coached.
Chief Angelo's full statement:
"The Canton Police Department is currently investigating a You Tube video posted over the weekend. The video involved an encounter with a person later identified as a Canton City School District coach. The video allegedly shows the subject attempting to meet what he thought was a 15 year old juvenile.
"We are currently reviewing this as a possible Attempted Importuning ORC# 2707.07 violation. We cannot say at this time that a successful prosecution will be possible.
"The party posting the video had made contact with the subject via the internet and posed as the 15 year old. Cases where the public initiate such encounters are difficult to prosecute because they do not involve law enforcement or an actual juvenile victim. While we have no doubt the intentions of the video posted were good, we do not encourage this type of action. Anyone who believes they have evidence of any crime should contact their local law enforcement agency.
"The State of Ohio and the Federal Bureau of Investigation both operate child enticement tasks forces, which our department works with, that are extremely successful in sting operations and arrest of predators."
Anyone with information that could help the investigation can call the Canton Police Department at 330-649-5800.