Ohio man describes possible punishment for trying to buy a child - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Ohio man describes possible punishment for trying to buy a child "cruel and unusual"

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AKRON, Ohio -

A Cuyahoga Falls man is arguing that he shouldn't receive the maximum prison sentence for offering to buy a ten year old girl because he had not been involved in a serious loving relationship with a female for more than thirteen years.

That's one of the factors cited in a sentencing memorandum filed by the attorney for Robert Thomas, who faces thirty years or more in prison. 

The 37-year-old Thomas awaits sentencing on charges of offering to buy a child, coercion and enticement, and receipt and distribution of visual depictions of minors engaged in sexually explicit conduct..

According to a sentencing memorandum filed by the government, Thomas put ads on the internet seeking to buy a girl for breeding, or to become a slave.

Investigators say that in January Thomas offered an undercover Alliance city police officer $400 to purchase a 10-year-old girl with the intentions of using the girl to produce images of sexual activity.

A search of the Thomas residence turned up sexual aids, bondage toys as well as 44 videos and 290 images of child pornography.

Counsel for the defense, attorney Michael Feldman, argues that the minimum thirty year sentence would be considered cruel and unusual punishment. He also adds that Thomas attempted to buy the girl without thinking through any specifics or details of the plan.  Feldman writes that his client did not consider the fact that the ability to purchase the girl was outrageously unrealistic.

A response from Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Sullivan suggests that Thomas would have, and might still kidnap a child if he were able to figure out how to do so.

The defense also claims that Thomas is extremely shy, introverted with low self-esteem and ill at ease with women. Defense attorney Feldman asks U.S. District Judge John Adams to sentence Thomas to no more than 15-to-20 years in prison.

Prosecutors are asking the court to sentence Thomas at or above the mandatory thirty year suggested sentence.

The court has yet to set a date for sentencing.

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