Ohio registered sex offender admits to child sex trafficking

COLUMBUS(AP) — A registered sex offender accused of sex trafficking a 14-year-old girl pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Columbus to charges including sex trafficking a minor, federal authorities said.

Nicholas Cochran, 28, of Lima, also pleaded guilty to committing a sex offense against a minor as a registered sex offender, according to a Justice Department release. The plea agreement recommends a sentence of 27 to 42 years in prison.

Police began searching for the girl reported missing from Celina in western Ohio in July 2019, according to court documents. Cochran in July offered her for sex in ads he placed in the Lima, Findlay, Dayton and Columbus areas, authorities said.

Cochran was arrested Aug. 9 in a nationwide sting operation targeting sex offenders. The girl was recovered from a hotel in Lima.

The plea agreement requires Cochran to pay full restitution to the girl and others impacted by the crimes and remain under court supervision for life. A message seeking comment was left for his attorney.

The judge will review the plea and set a sentencing date.

Cochran was convicted of sexual battery and attempted sexual battery in Henry County in 2009, authorities said.