The Canadian County Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) task force conducted an undercover online investigation that led to the arrest of a Bartlesville man on a complaint of lewd or indecent acts or proposals to a minor.
In the case, an undercover ICAC investigator used a social media platform to create a profile purporting to be that of a 14-year-old girl in Canadian County. Prosecutors say that in April 2017, a Bartlesville 27-year-old Bartlesville man, James Ellis, began communicating with the decoy. Investigators say Ellis believed himself to be talking with a 14-year-old girl, and even knowing that she was a minor, began engaging in sexually explicit conversation with "her."
According to a press release from the Canadian County Sheriff's Office, the man described oral sex and various other sex acts he wanted to perform with the girl and attempted several times to arrange a meeting with her. He reportedly told the decoy that he wanted to pick her up and take her to an Oklahoma City hotel for sex, and also that he wanted to have sex with her in her home.
When investigators determined that the Bartlesville man would be staying at an Oklahoma City hotel, they decided to stake out his room and hoped to catch him returning to his room from a popular nightclub. However, after a significant time passed without seeing their suspect, investigators decided to knock on the door of his room.
Ellis answered the door, and investigators questioned him about his online activities. He reportedly admitted to investigators that he was speaking online with someone he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, and they say he admitted that he knew what he was doing was illegal.
The Canadian County Sheriff's Office says that Ellis said his illicit conversations with someone he believed to be a minor were the result of recent relationship difficulties, and that he just wanted someone to pay attention to him.
Deputies booked the suspect into the Canadian County Jail, where he was held on $50,000 bond. As of this writing, he remains in custody and has not yet been formally charged.
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