Indian American Man Arrested in Indiana for Allegedly Soliciting Teens Online
Mihirbhai N. Patel had allegedly messaged school-going teenage boys and offered them money for sex.
An Indian American man from Franklin, Indiana, was arrested on May 7 for allegedly messaging teens and trying to pay them in return for sex.
Mihirbhai N. Patel, 27, was also accused of a similar crime in 2015. He was arrested after a detective messaged him pretending to be a teen. Patel allegedly offered him $100 in return for sex.
The Franklin Police department said that they took note of the situation after Patel messaged three teenage boys of Whiteland Community High School, and asked one of them to have sex with him. The student reported the incident to a teacher, saying that a stranger messaged him on Instagram offering money for sex.
The other two boys discontinued the conversation but the third one kept talking to him. He reported to a teacher when it turned ugly. After the student made the complaint to the teacher, a New Whiteland police officer working as a school resource officer was contacted, who got in touch with the Franklin Police department.
In 2015, Patel was accused of paying a teenage boy he met online for sex on two occasions. Patel was working as a substitute teacher at the time and was released after completing community service, sex offender evaluation and treatment, and after paying a fine through the pretrial diversion program, according to DailyJournal.
“It was a similar case to this where he was getting in contact with juveniles,” said Jeff Merritt, a detective with the Franklin Police Department, according to Fox59.
The police have requested a search warrant to go through Patel’s phone, which they confiscated. They want to go through his social media accounts to find out if he contacted other teens as well.
The police, pretending to be a teen, arranged a meeting on May 5, 2018, to establish that Patel himself was using the social media account through which the messages to the student were sent.
Once he reached the arranged spot, police surrounded him. He tried to escape but was stopped. According to the Franklin police, Patel was worried about the report of his arrest going public and did not seem remorseful for his actions.
Patel was arrested and taken to the Johnson County jail and released on $6,600 bond. The Johnson County Prosecutor’s Office will decide what, if any, charge to file.