CHYAHOGA COUNTY, Ohio -- Prosecutors say a desperate and dangerous convicted sex offender walked nearly seven miles hoping to meet a teen girl for sex.
Steven Prest had just been sentenced to two years in prison and he’ll have to register as a sex offender for 25 years, according to WJW.
He began his long walk at a hospital -- where his girlfriend had just given birth to their baby.
Prest was one of the first to be convicted in a big sex sting carried out by the Internet Crimes Against Children Task Force.
It happened in the summer during the weekend Cleveland hosted the Major League Baseball All-Star Game.
Video shows Prest walking and stopping at a convenience store not far from where investigators say he expected to meet a 15-year-old girl.
They say he had been talking to an undercover officer. A team of agents put him in handcuffs.
“The 6.8 miles he walked in two hours," Assistant Cuyahoga County Prosecutor Carl Sullivan said. "And he was texting during the course of that, basically giving updates to our investigator posing as the undercover.
“It’s absolutely ridiculous. I’m happy we caught him.”
Detectives say one message he wrote said, “I definitely like you. Or I wouldn’t take the risks I’m already taking.”
Video from the interrogation shows Prest admitting, “There was some sex talk back and forth. We’ll do this. We’ll do that.” And, “I played along. I know. I played along.”
“He had a prior history," Sullivan said. "He had been convicted of solicitation of a minor in Tennessee before.”
Investigators say cases such as this show why parents need to stay alert and be aware of everyone their kids are speaking to and messaging on their phones.
Detectives have done multiple stings such as this, hauling in dozens of suspects at a time.
And officers believe they could do the stings even more often and still grab a lot of people trying to target kids for sex.
Of the 28 picked up in the last sting, about a third have been convicted with the other cases still pending.