appeal from the Knox County Court of Common Pleas, Case No.
Plaintiff-Appellee CHARLES MCCONVILLE.
Defendant-Appellant ERIC C. NEMECEK.
JUDGES: Hon. W. Scott Gwin, P.J. Hon. William B. Hoffman, J.
Hon. Earle E. Wise, J.
Appellant Michael Mayo appeals his conviction of one count of
importuning. The State of Ohio is the appellee.
& Procedural History
Appellant posted an ad on Craigslist. Detective Bobo of the
Knox County Sheriffs Office responded to appellant's ad.
Detective Bobo sent a picture of his fake persona to
appellant saying, "Hi I'm Hannah, " and giving
appellant a cell phone number to text. Appellant responded
and they texted back and forth. The conversation turned
sexual. Detective Bobo testified he held himself out to be
fifteen years of age and in high school. Appellant set up a
time and place to meet with "Hannah." After
confirming appellant's identity through pictures,
Detective Bobo found appellant had a gray Toyota Tundra
registered in his name. Detective Bobo stated that appellant
arrived at the appointed time to meet "Hannah" in
the Toyota Tundra by the meeting spot.
Detective Bobo conducted a traffic stop of appellant's
vehicle near the location where appellant and
"Hannah" planned to meet. Detective Bobo testified
appellant admitted it was him texting with "Hannah,
" but said he was there to meet a girl to have dinner.
Appellant was arrested. Appellant testified at trial that he
thought "Hannah" was lying about her age when she
said she was fifteen years old because he looked at a
Facebook page of her and saw she was an older adult female.
On June 7, 2016, appellant was indicted on one count of
importuning in violation of R.C. Section 2907.07(D)(2).
Appellant was arraigned and pled not guilty to the charge on
June 10, 2016. On June 13, 2016, the trial court set the
matter for a jury trial. Appellant filed a motion to continue
the jury trial. The trial court granted appellant's
motion to continue and rescheduled the trial for October 25,
On October 21, 2016, appellant filed a "waiver of right
to jury trial." The waiver was signed by appellant and
appellant's attorney. The waiver stated as follows:
"Now comes the defendant, Michael A. Mayo, who hereby
knowingly, intelligently, and voluntarily waives his right to
a trial by jury. Defendant requests that this matter proceed
to a trial to the Court."
The trial court conducted a bench trial on October 25, 2016.
At the beginning of the trial, the trial court stated,
"Let the record show the Defendant, Michael Mayo, is
present in the courtroom represented by Attorney Jim Giles;
the State's in the courtroom in the person of Chip
McConville, Knox County Prosecuting Attorney. This matter is
set for a bench trial, Defendant having waived jury on
October 21st." The trial court then asked the parties if
they were ready to proceed. After both parties confirmed they
were ready to proceed, the State made its opening statement.
Detective Bobo and appellant testified at the bench trial. On
October 26, 2016, the trial court issued a judgment entry
finding appellant guilty of one count of importuning in
violation of R.C. 2907.07(D)(2), ordering a pre-sentence
investigation, and scheduling a sentencing hearing for
December 2, 2016. At the sentencing hearing, the trial court
sentenced appellant to eleven months in prison and classified
him as a Tier I sexual offender.
Appellant appeals his conviction and assigns the ...