Toledo man pleads guilty to attempted pandering

A Toledo man accused of having sex with a minor after traveling with her halfway across the state has pleaded guilty.

Jonathon Jones, 33, was transported from the jail Thursday to the courtroom of Wood County Common Pleas Judge Joel Kuhlman.

He pleaded guilty to the amended counts of endangering children and attempt to commit pandering obscenity involving a minor, both third-degree felonies.

Charges of pandering obscenity, contributing to the unruliness or delinquency of a child, interfering with custody and possessing criminal tools will be dismissed at sentencing.

A human trafficking specification also will be dismissed.

Jones will have to register as a Tier II sex offender, which will require him to register every 180 days for 25 years.

Wood County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Morgan Spitler said Jones and the victim were seen walking down the road near a Lake Township truck stop on Oct. 24.

Police stopped the two as it was dark and there was concern for their safety.

“At that time, the victim did provide a false name and birthday to officers,” Spitler said.

Investigators determined the child was a runaway and had previously been in the custody of children’s services in another county.

According to court documents, the girl was at a medical facility in Columbus and Jones picked her up and drove her to the Super 8 in Millbury. She did not have permission to leave, Spitler said.

Nude photos of the minor and photos of the two of them having sex were found on Jones’ phone, Spitler said. Jones planned to pander those photos, Spitler said.

Court documents indicate the girl was 16 years old at the time; in-court statements had her age at 15 years old.

Defense attorney Lawrence Gold said that the victim ran out to his Jones’ vehicle.

“He didn’t enter that building and break her out in any way,” he said.

Kuhlman said he could either impose a 36-month prison sentence for each charge, with the possibility they be served consecutively, or a sentence of community control for five years.

Sentencing was scheduled for May 4.

Kuhlman granted Gold’s request for his client to be released on an own recognizance bond in order him to demonstrate he is a good candidate for community control.

Jones must wear a GPS monitor, have no unsupervised contact with any minors, and not access the internet.