Man caught in child predator sting by LCSO

Published 3:55 pm Thursday, February 29, 2024

WARNING: This story contains graphic content that some readers might find disturbing. 

EUBANK – A 52-year-old man was arrested by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office after a child predator sting operation revealed he was soliciting sex from a nine-year-old girl.

Ronald R. Sparks of 150 Collins Spur Road in Eubank was intercepted by the Lincoln County Sheriff’s Office (LCSO) on Feb. 24 while he was allegedly on his way to meet a nine-year-old girl for sexual purposes.

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What Sparks did not know was that the conversation he was having via text message was not with the girl, but instead with Lincoln County Det. Sgt. Michael Mullins.

According to the arrest citation, LCSO was contacted by the parent of the child who said the child had gotten a number from a friend at school but had written the number down incorrectly and was instead communicating with Sparks.

Sparks engaged and continued a conversation with the nine-year-old, asking her to send him a naked picture stating “no panties please.”

That is when Det. Sgt. Mullins took over the conversation, pretending to be the nine-year-old.

Sparks allegedly made it clear he knew he was communicating with a nine-year-old girl, and stated “I love your age.”

During the conversation, Sparks sent a picture of his genitals and later revealed his name and where he lives. He then asked the girl about meeting up and agreed to meet near Belcher’s Grocery on Ky. Hwy. 1247 in Eubank.

Sparks allegedly asked the girl if he could have sex with her. When asked what would happen if they made a baby, Sparks said the girl could live with him. He then discussed sexually abusing the baby.

On Feb. 24 at about 12:17 p.m., Sparks was intercepted on his way to meet the girl – who he believed was running away from her mom – by LCSO Deputy Butch Phillips and taken into custody by Det. Sgt. Michael Mullins.

At that time Sparks said he was going to the store, but when he was informed that he was texting law enforcement and not the nine-year-old girl, he allegedly stated he wasn’t going to do anything.

Sparks was taken back to the LCSO where he was interviewed.

“He admitted to having several thoughts about underage girls, he was only talking to them but would not do anything to harm them,” the citation states. “He agreed that he was the one texting the girl and that no one else had access to his phone. He agreed that he has a problem with thinking about sexual things with underage girls.”

Sparks was arrested and charged with procuring or promoting use of a minor by electronic means; kidnapping a minor (attempt); and third-degree unlawful transaction with a minor (attempt).

He is being lodged in the Casey County Detention Center.

Mullins was assisted in the arrest by Deputy Butch Phillips and Constable Delbert Mitchell.