Former state official pleads guilty to pimping charges
Robert E. McFadden ran Ohio's faith-based initiative
Thursday, July 9, 2009 11:24 AM
THE COLUMBUS DISPATCH
Bruce Cadwallader | Dispatch
Robert E. McFadden, right, listens to instructions from Judge Tim Horton in Franklin County Common Pleas Court.
A former director of Gov. Ted Strickland's Faith-Based and Community Initiative pleaded guilty this morning to two felony counts after police said he tried to pimp a 17-year-old prostitute.
Robert E. McFadden, 46, of 6290 Hyland Dr., Dublin, pleaded guilty to two counts of compelling prostitution for computer activity he conducted between September and October last year. Five other counts of pandering obscenity and promoting prostitution were dismissed.
The pleas in Franklin County Common Pleas Court could land McFadden in prison for as long as 10 years. Judge Tim Horton set sentencing for Aug. 20.
Prosecutors said McFadden, who is free on bond, took photographs of the girl he met on an Internet chat room and then offered her services to other men on the site as a "recommended" prostitute.
Columbus vice detectives monitoring online discussions among clients of prostitutes for years said McFadden posted under the names "Sullivant Guy," "Broad Street Guy," "Toby" and "God O Thunder."
Like many others on the sites, McFadden traded information about street hookers and online escorts. He would recommend some prostitutes, issue warnings about others and give advice on ways to avoid law enforcement.
Columbus police learned of the activity during an online sex sting in January.
Defense attorney Keith Golden explained to Horton that McFadden is not charged with having sex with the girl, but promoting her sex services.
McFadden, a former field director for a Catholic organization, was hired by Strickland in 2007 to lead the Faith-Based office at $36 an hour and encouraged to make it easier for such organizations to compete for public funding.
He was later transferred to the Ohio Department of Rehabilitation and Correction, but was laid off due to budget cuts.
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