Accused sex trafficker jailed in Highland Co.; was convicted of crimes in Clinton Co. in 2004

By Tim Colliver - [email protected]



HILLSBORO — A convicted child molester with a propensity for girls as young as the age of 2 is jailed at the Highland County Justice Center after a woman revealed to deputies graphic Facebook messages allegedly sent to her by the man, according to an affidavit filed with the Hillsboro Municipal Court.

James Hugh McCartney, 61, of the Rocky Fork Lake area, is charged with the first-degree felony of trafficking in persons.

A complaint and arrest warrant from Hillsboro Municipal Court was filed Monday against McCartney, alleging that between Feb. 25-26, he “did knowingly attempt to recruit, lure, entice, harbor, transport, provide, obtain, or maintain another person,” when he knew that the other person “will be subjected to involuntary servitude or be compelled to engage in sexual activity for hire.”

The complaint further alleged that McCartney’s motivation was to procure a young girl and to have her “engage in a performance that is obscene, sexually oriented, or nudity oriented, or be a model or participant in the production of material that is obscene, sexually oriented or nudity oriented.”

McCartney is a former Sabina resident, according to Clinton County online court records.

The current affidavit shows that McCartney had a prior conviction in Clinton County Common Pleas Court in 2004 for pandering obscenity and pandering obscenity with a minor, He was sentenced to three years in prison, according to the Clinton County Clerk of Courts website

The affidavit stated that a woman and her brother came to the Highland County Sheriff’s Office on the evening of Feb. 25 with information regarding McCartney’s alleged solicitation to her via Facebook to obtain a young girl for sexual activity.

The woman provided a deputy with the Facebook messages she received, which stated in graphic detail what he intended to do with the child.

The affidavit went on to state that while in the lobby of the justice center, the woman took it upon herself to call McCartney and record the conversation, a copy of which is in the case file.

In the phone call, McCartney is alleged to have told the woman to get him a girl “as young as you can,” with the woman replying “the younger the better” and that she would get back to him.

McCartney also was convicted on a charge of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor in the state of California, with PC 288(a) of that state’s penal code defined as a child molestation statute leveled against those that would commit “any lewd or lascivious act” with a minor child under 14 years of age, according to online records.

That conviction placed him on the Sex Offender registry as a lifetime registrant, and he is currently listed as a Pre-AWA (Adam Walsh Act) Sexual Predator in Ohio.

McCartney was arraigned in Hillsboro Municipal Court on Monday and is being held in the Highland County Justice Center under a $250,000 bond.

A preliminary hearing in his case is scheduled for Tuesday, March 9 in municipal court.

Reach Tim Colliver at 937-402-2571.


By Tim Colliver

[email protected]