Preschool teacher among 14 accused predators arrested during child sex sting in Stark County

Teacher among 14 accused predators arrested during child sex sting in Stark County

STARK COUNTY, Ohio (WOIO) - Jackson Township police provided more information to the arrests of more than a dozen suspected sexual predators caught up in a sting over Super Bowl weekend.

Police called the sting Operation Unsportsmanlike Conduct.

Police announce arrests of sexual predators during Stark County sting; Operation Unsportsmanlike Conduct

Posted by Cleveland 19 News on Tuesday, February 4, 2020

According to investigators, the undercover operation took place from Jan. 31 to Feb. 3.

The suspects believed they were communicating over the internet to young teen boys and girls, according to the Jackson Township Police Department. They were actually in touch with undercover officers.

Some of the suspects are utility workers or bartenders.

Adam Leidtke is a counselor, though.

And probably most disturbing of all, Jerry Ragsdale is listed as a preschool teacher on this arrest report.

19 News confirmed Ragsdale was teaching at the YWCA in downtown Canton.

A spokesperson says he was immediately put on unpaid administrative leave when they found out about his recent arrest.

One individual urinated in his clothes because he was so scared during the arrest, police said.

The police chief says others came from miles away to meet up, meaning more offenders could be anywhere.

That's why he's speaking out.

“This isn’t just for Jackson,” he said. “This is for everybody in Northeast Ohio and in the state of Ohio. We’re telling people, because we want them to get in front of this.”

If convicted, prosecutors say each one of the suspects would be required to register as a sex offender.

Multiple local and state agencies assisted in the sting.

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