WARREN COUNTY, Ohio (FOX19) - A Tri-State man faces criminal charges after police say he put a teenager in a bear hug and offered to pay him for sex, according to Franklin City police.
Officers say the teen was walking to school last Tuesday, April 13 when the man, 60-year-old Michael Steiner, grabbed the teenage boy.
The teen was able to escape, but now authorities are investigating to determine if there are other victims.
Lt. Brian Pacifico says the situation is odd and wants people to know it’s not ok to touch others without their consent.
“It was brazen,” Pacifico said. “It was broad daylight and this was happening.”
Police say the incident began when the teen missed the bus, so he had to walk to school. Pacifico says the boy was walking on North Main Street at 7:30 a.m. when he saw a man in a van, allegedly Steiner, whom he did not know.
“The gentleman got out of his vehicle and walked over and hugged him,” Pacifico said, “and kind of gave him a bear hug and stopped the kid.”
That, Pacifico says, is when the man offered the teen money for sex.
“The kid said he was very scared, took a few steps back from the conversation,” Pacifico said. “Once he was able to he thought he was able to get away, he turned walked away and began running.”
Pacifico says a woman saw the boy running on Jackson Street and stepped in.
“She asked if he was ok,” Pacifico said. “He said, ‘No, call the police.’”
Police later arrested Steiner on charges of compelling prostitution. Pacifico says Steiner was convicted in 2007 of sexual imposition.
“It’s wrong,” Pacifico said. “They’re kids, they’re juveniles. They don’t need to be approached in any manner sexually.”
The lieutenant continued: “You don’t have any right to touch their body. You don’t have the right to ask them questions about what they do with themselves or what you want to do with them.”
Steiner will be back in court April 27.
Anyone with information about other victims is urged to contact the Franklin City Police Department at (937) 746-2882 and ask for Det. Hatfield.
See a spelling or grammar error in our story? Click here to report it. Please include title of story.