An Ohio man was arrested for seeking sex with Kentucky children, possessing child pornography and imitating a police officer, Attorney General Andy Beshear and his Cyber Crimes Unit announced today.
Beshear said following an investigation by his Department of Criminal Investigations Cyber Crimes Unit, and a Jan. 18 indictment by a Franklin County grand jury, Lester Lee Perine Jr., 35, of Canton, Ohio, was arrested yesterday by the Ohio Attorney General’s Office on five counts.
The charges include three counts of unlawful use of electronic means originating or received within the Commonwealth of Kentucky to induce a minor or engage in sexual or other prohibited activities; distribution of matter portraying sexual performance by a minor; and impersonation of a peace officer, all Class D felonies.
Beshear’s Department of Criminal Investigations cyber investigators opened an investigation after receiving information that Perine was seeking sex with underage children in Kentucky.
Perine is in the Stark County Jail in Canton, Ohio, awaiting extradition back to Kentucky. Canton is located more than 300 miles from Frankfort in Northeast Ohio.
Beshear’s office and the Ohio Office of the Attorney General were also assisted by the Canton Police Department.
“I applaud the efforts of our cyber investigators, the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Canton Police Department for teaming up to deliver justice to someone who is accused of actively seeking to sexually abuse Kentucky children,” said Beshear. “In working with Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s office we are helping to ensure children in Kentucky, Ohio and neighboring states are better protected from online predators.”
The work of the Department of Criminal Investigations, Cyber Crimes Unit in the Kentucky Office of the Attorney General, is part of Beshear’s core mission to keep sexual predators away from Kentucky’s families and children.
Over the past two years, the number of arrests, indictments and convictions by Beshear’s cyber investigators has reached historic levels, totaling more than 145.
Through funding from the Child Victims’ Trust Fund, Beshear’s office also works with Prevent Child Abuse Kentucky to help train parents, caregivers, advocates and law enforcement on how to make the internet safer for children and protect children from sexual abuse. Kentuckians interested in supporting the fund can visit icareaboutkids.ky.gov or designate a portion of their state income tax refund by simply checking the box on the return form.
Beshear said that Kentuckians have a moral and legal duty to report any instance of child abuse to local law enforcement or to Kentucky’s Child Abuse hotline at 877-597-2331 or 877-KYSAFE1.