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Man facing charges for soliciting prostitution in EP

LISBON — For the second time in a week, a man from outside the area is facing felony charges for attempting to solicit prostitution in the East Palestine area.

David M. Lechene, 60, Middlefield, is charged with compelling prostitution, a third-degree felony, and possessing criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.

According to a court affidavit provided by New Waterford Police Chief Dan Haueter, who also serves as a detective with the East Palestine police department and works with the Mahoning Valley Human Trafficking Task Force, Lechene has a past criminal record which includes procuring prostitution and public indecency and has been known to travel to East Palestine for employment at times.

On this occasion, Lechene allegedly answered an advertisement known to be used by prostitutes and drove to East Palestine seeking sex with two 16-year-old foster home runaways. He brought a Samsung phone he used to set up the illegal activity and a GPS device to find the location.

As payment, Lechene reportedly offered $80 and the purchase of groceries in exchange for sexual activities with the girls.

A May 20 preliminary hearing was set for Lechene on Thursday in county Municipal Court. His bond was set at $15,000 cash or surety and he was ordered to have no contact with minors. Lechene, who lives in Middlefield in Geauga County, which is west of Mosquito Lake, was released after posting bond.

He is the second man snared recently for similar allegations. Chad Robert Ryan, 44, of Dover in Tuscarawas County, was arrested on May 8 and charged with compelling prostitution, a third-degree felony; attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, a fourth-degree felony; and possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony.

Ryan allegedly intended to purchase sex with a mother and her 14-year-old daughter, offering $800 but agreeing on the price of $1,000 before traveling to East Palestine.

Ryan is scheduled for a preliminary hearing in county Municipal Court on Monday.

djohnson@mojonews.com

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