Man tried to buy child for sex, sheriff says

Posted at 2:21 PM, Apr 22, 2016
and last updated 2016-04-23 00:41:01-04

FAIRFIELD TOWNSHIP,  Ohio – A man charged with trying to buy a child for sex told a friend his ultimate goal was to adopt a child so he could have sex with her whenever he wanted, according to the Butler County Sheriff's Office. 

Craig Maher, 39, of Fairfield Township is under arrest on federal charges after he made arrangements to purchase a child for sex, the sheriff's office said Friday. The investigation started when he told a friend he wanted to drug a female child between 4 and 14 and have sex with her.

"His ultimate goal was to adopt a child, live in a cabin in Michigan so he could have sex with the female child at any given time," Sheriff Richard Jones said.

Maher also told the friend he wanted pictures of the act, according to the sheriff's office. He was willing to pay specific prices for different sexual acts, according to Sgt. Jason Owens.

"I won't release what acts he wanted to perform," Jones said, "but they're probably everything you could imagine. We know what they are, and he was willing to pay for each act in itself."

Investigators seized a variety of evidence at Maher’s residence in Fairfield Township. Steve Kessler, a neighbor, said there were 12 cars, three unmarked cars and sheriff's deputies standing in front of Maher's garage.

"We raised our daughter here, and she went out trick-or-treating by herself, and you just don’t know," Kessler said.

If convicted, Maher faces a minimum sentence of 30 years. More charges are possible, Jones said.

“The Butler County Sheriff’s Office is going to work closely with Homeland Security to work toward this guy receiving the maximum sentence possible," he said.