Ohio assistant county prosecutor arrested for trying to solicit sex from child, investigators say

CUYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio — An assistant Cuyahoga County prosecutor tried to solicit sex from someone he thought was a minor but was actually an agent with the Ohio Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force, investigators said.

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Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office Maj. Jeff Allen said Joseph Bell was arrested Friday after he was snared during an undercover sting operation conducted in late July and early August, the Plain Dealer reported.

Bell worked in the Cuyahoga County Prosecutor’s Office child support enforcement division for about 18 months, WFMJ reported. Bell has been fired.

“We have no tolerance for this type of behavior,” Cuyahoga County prosecutor Michael O’Malley said in a statement. “We have been working closely for the past week with the Mahoning County Sheriff’s Office regarding this incident. He will be held accountable just like every other disturbed individual who engages in this type of criminal activity.”

Bell was arrested and charged with importuning, the solicitation for sex acts, a felony, WFMJ reported.