CORVALLIS, Ore. – An Albany man is accused of trying to lure an underage girl, the Benton County Sheriff’s Office said.
Rolan Meyers, 35, was arrested on Wednesday after deputies said he knowingly solicited a 15-year-old girl online and took steps to engage in sexual contact with her.
That 15-year-old was really Benton County detectives, who posed as a minor on a local online service on April 15.
The motive behind the operation was concern for the vulnerability of children who are now at home and more frequently on digital devices due to distance learning during the pandemic.
A conversation followed from the detectives’ post, and Meyers allegedly sent multiple text messages to the undercover account and was told the girl was only 15 multiple times.
Deputies said Wednesday morning Meyers suggested meeting up with the girl after asking if both the girl’s parents were gone. Meyers was reportedly on his way to meet with the girl when deputies stopped him in Corvallis. He was taken into custody.
Meyers faces charges of luring a minor, first and second-degree online sexual corruption of a child and attempted using a child in a display of sexually explicit conduct.
“At this time when our children are spending more time online, it is even more important we identify and hold accountable those individuals who choose to prey on our children. We encourage parents to have open and ongoing conversations about safe and appropriate online behavior, not just during our pandemic, but also when the Stay Home, Save Lives order is lifted,” said Capt. Don Rogers.
For more information about privacy settings on electronic devices, click here.
Deputies also encourage the public to report any suspected online enticement of children to the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children at http://CyberTipline.org or 1-800-843-5678.