Youngstown VA counselor from Mercer accused of traveling to have - WFMJ.com News weather sports for Youngstown-Warren Ohio

Youngstown VA counselor from Mercer accused of traveling to have sex with teen

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CLEVELAND, Ohio -

A Mercer, Pennsylvania man, who is also a counselor in the Youngstown office of the Veteran's Administration, is under investigation by federal authorities for allegedly attempting to meet a 15-year-old girl for a sexual encounter.

According to court documents made public this week, 38-year-old Carmen John Sagnimeni drove through snow, ice and cold temperatures from his job at the VA center in Youngstown to the Cleveland area in order to meet what he believed was a teenage girl he met through social media.

As it turns out, the 'teen' Sagnimeni had allegedly been trading Facebook and KIK messages with since August was actually a special investigator with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children's Task Force.

Members of the Task Force arrested Sagnimeni on December 15 in the parking lot of a church in Brookpark, Ohio, where investigators said he had agreed to meet what he thought was a 15 year old girl.

Following his arrest, Sagnimeni told investigators that he lived in Mercer with his wife and her four children. He is also the biological father of two children from a previous marriage.

He said he is employed as a peer counselor at the Youngstown VA, where he counseled soldiers with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, and was in the National Guard for 16 years.

Investigators say Sagnimeni admitted that he had traveled to Brookpark to meet a girl named Emily, who he believed was 14 or 15 years old.

He said he believed he had been communicating with “Emily” since March 2016, when he first sent her a “friend request” on Facebook.

Sagnimeni told the interviewer that his chats with “Emily” varied from general conversations to conversations about sexual topics.

According to the affidavit, Sagnimeni had discussed oral sex with the undercover investigator during one of their chats.

He also said he had made plans to meet the child and get a hotel room on New Year's Eve.

A search of Sagnimeni's locker at the National Guard base in Butler, Pennsylvania turned up a notebook with a list of female names and locations. All the females were listed to be between the ages and 13 and 15, according to the affidavit.

Sagnimeni, who just turned 38 on Wednesday, made an initial appearance before a federal magistrate on Thursday following the filing of a complaint alleging that he crossed a state line to entice a 14 or 15 year old girl to engage in illegal sexual activity.

He's scheduled to be back in court next week for a detention hearing.

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