CINCINNATI, OH (FOX19) - A local tennis pro is in trouble and in jail after Kenton County police said he tried to solicit sex from what he thought was a 14-year-old girl.
It turns out it was an undercover cop.
Over and over Wednesday, FOX19 talked with people who didn’t want to go on-camera. Their exact reaction was:“Him? Really?” They would say: “He was my tennis coach when I was a teenager” or “he was my kid’s tennis coach.” There’s a sign the city posted on the tennis courts he’s been renting for years, saying 60-year-old Timothy Mitchell’s classes are cancelled in case any students or parents need to reach him.
But don’t call his cellphone yet, he’s in jail.
“March 5th, one of our officers, using an undercover guise as a 14-year-old female, was contacted by Tim Mitchell,” said Col. Spike Jones, who’s the chief at the Kenton County Police Department. “Mr. Mitchell continued by sending very graphic descriptions of what he would like to do with this 14-year-old female.”
Then, he described an ill-fated meeting, which happened Tuesday night, March 12, at a Kenton County park. Jones said Mitchell showed up, expecting to meet a 14-year-old girl for sex, but instead, got a rude awakening with an undercover detective.
"We were more than happy to go and meet Mitchell at the park," said Jones.
They can't say which park, or which app or program Mitchell was allegedly using.
Police say Mitchell believed it was a teenager, yet pursued the get together.
“I’ve been with the city for 13 years and I know he’s been using the courts at least as long as I’ve been here,” said Wyoming City Manager Lynn Tetley, who added she’s never heard any complaints about Mitchell until now.
“He is not an employee, he basically has what we call a franchise fee to use the tennis courts that are on Springfield Pike to teach his own classes, so he has a number of coaches that he employs,” she said. “We did have a contract with him for this next season and we did send him a notice today that we had terminated the contract effective immediately.”
Officials posted a sign with his number at the courts if anyone had any questions.
Police believe there are real victims.
"We're asking other folks that may have been victimized by Mitchell, to please come forward, reach out to us at the Kenton County Police Department,” said Jones. “In all too many cases, sadly, it's not just one victim, just one time. We're finding that folks like this are career predators."
Kenton County Commonwealth Attorney Rob Sanders said Mitchell is still in jail as of Wednesday night. His bond is $10,000 and that’s all cash only, meaning you can’t pay a percentage to get out on bail. You pay all of it or in jail you’ll stay. Mitchell is due in court March 19 at 1:30 in the afternoon.