COVINGTON, Ky. — A Mount Airy man who formerly worked as a tennis instructor in Northern Kentucky has been convicted of enticing a minor after the man messaged a detective posing as a 14-year-old girl.
Investigators said 62-year-old Timothy Mitchell responded to a "teen" he met online in March 2019 with an "array of sexual comments, questions, and even emailed a photo of his genitals on the very first day of online contact." The teen was actually an online persona created by Kenton County Police Detective Brian Jones.
Mitchell then sent multiple emails asking to meet for sex, suggesting the girl tell her guardian she was taking tennis lessons from him so the two could spend time alone. In his emails, Mitchell also described various sex acts he desired to engage in, even telling her he wanted to be her "Daddy Lover."
On March 12, the man traveled to meet the girl and was instead arrested by Kenton County Police officers.
"Officers discovered Mitchell was dressed as he had described for the child, with no undergarments beneath his track suit," according to a release from the county's Commonwealth's attorney.
Mitchell also brought a cell phone to give the child so her guardian could not track her calls.
Jones brought Mitchell in for questioning without letting him know he was the "child." When Jones told Mitchell how angry the "child's guardian" was upon learning he was soliciting the child for sex, Mitchell wrote an apology letter saying he had no intentions of kidnapping the girl.
Prosecutors offered Mitchell no plea deals and trial began on Aug. 4. In Kenton County's first jury trial since the coronavirus pandemic shut down courts in spring, the jury found Mitchell guilty within 20 minutes and recommended he spend 2 1/2 years behind bars.
"If it wasn't Detective Jones, it would have be a real child and she would receive a life sentence suffering from the trauma of being raped by this man," said Assistant Commonwealth's Attorney Emily Arnzen in a news release Thursday. "Thank God for great cops like Detective Jones, and thank God our Kenton County Police fund a position dedicated to hunting online predators."
Mitchell is due in court for sentencing in September.