A Powell man who attempted to arrange a sexual encounter with who he thought was a 10-year-old girl will spend five years in jail and will be labeled a sex offender for life.
Kevin L. McDowell, 44, of Ridgeview Court was sentenced April 16 to five years in jail after he pleaded guilty to one count of attempted rape, a second-degree felony, and one count of soliciting sex from a minor, a third-degree felony.
He will be classified as a Tier III sex offender, a designation he will hold for the rest of his life.
Last August, McDowell engaged officers posing as a 10-year-old girl through an online chat room, according to reports from the Franklin County Sheriff's Office.
He arranged a face-to-face meeting and was arrested when he arrived at an undisclosed Hilliard location with a box of condoms, the reports said.
A Tier III sex offender is the most serious classification. It includes those who have been convicted of rape, sexual battery and murder with sexual motivation, as well as offenders who attempted to engage minors under the age of 13 in sexual conduct.
After he completes his jail time, McDowell must register with the sheriff's office in any county in which he lives or works every 90 days, or when he changes his place of residence.
He also will enter a mandatory five-year probationary period after his release.
McDowell was admitted into the Ohio Department of Rehabilitations and Corrections on April 22 to begin his five-year sentence, not including 27 days already served following his arrest in 2012.
He was first arrested at 6 p.m. Aug. 8 as part of a sting by a Franklin County Sheriff's Office task force and was released on bail Sept. 4 after spending nearly a month at the Franklin County jail.
The deputies involved in the sting are part of a special sheriff's department task force that investigates cases of child pornography and online predators.
McDowell was indicted on two counts of attempted rape Aug. 16 and initially pleaded not guilty to both charges at a hearing Aug. 20.
He was released after he posted $150,000 bond Sept. 4, and a judge ordered him to stay away from all juveniles, according to documents from the Franklin County Clerk of Courts.
His first trial date was held in September 2012.