Franklin man accused of offering teen boy money for sex avoids prison

·1 min read

Oct. 13—A 60-year-old man who police said gave a "bear hug" to a teen boy walking down the street this spring in Franklin and offered to pay him for sex avoids prison.

Michael James Steiner of Franklin pleaded guilty Monday to one count of compelling prostitution, a third-degree felony, before Warren County Common Pleas Judge Timothy Tepe, court records show.

Steiner was booked into the Warren County Jail Monday afternoon following his plea and conviction. He was sentenced to a community based correctional facility plus three years of probation.

Warren County Prosecutor David Fornshell said prosecutors had asked for a prison sentence. He expects Steiner to serve about four to six months.

Steiner also was designated a Tier II sex offender, meaning that once he is released he must register his address every six months for 25 years with his local sheriff's office.

The teen victim on the morning of April 13 missed his bus and had to walk to school. He saw Steiner around 7:30 a.m. in a van, Franklin police Lt. Brian Pacifico said previously.

"The gentleman got out of his vehicle and walked over and hugged him ... and kind of gave him a bear hug and stopped the kid," Pacifico said.

Steiner offered money for sex with the teen, who "was very scared" and eventually was able to run away. A woman who saw him running on Jackson Street stepped in to help, Pacifico said.

Steiner was convicted in 2007 of sexual imposition, a third-degree misdemeanor, Warren County court records show.

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