Indiana Police Bust Amish Man for Sexting 12-Year-Old Girl

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Connersville Police Department / AP

This booking photo provided by the Connersville Police Department on June 22, 2011, shows Willard Yoder of Milroy, Ind. who has been charged with four counts of child solicitation. Police arrested the 26-year-old Amish man who they say showed up in a horse and buggy for what he thought was a meeting to have sex with a 12-year-old girl.

Twenty-one-year-old Willard Yoder, who is Amish, was arrested in Indiana last week for “sexting” a 12-year-old girl and trying to solicit her outside a restaurant.

Their correspondence began when he texted a random number and received a response.  A forensic probe of the girl’s cell phone revealed that Yoder had sent her more than 600 salacious texts, including two video messages and six pictures of himself and his genitalia, according to the Connersville Police Department report obtained by The Smoking Gun.

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He arranged to meet the girl last Wednesday night at the Takehome restaurant in Milroy, Indiana.  The report said Yoder “had advised in an earlier text that he would be driving a horse and buggy and the proposed sex act would happen inside the buggy.”

So police staked out the restaurant and, in a sting operation, busted Yoder.  He was arrested on four felony counts for soliciting a minor.  Yoder was “cooperative” and confessed on video to the inappropriate exchanges with the girl, whom he thought was 13 years old. CNN reports that bond is set at $20,000 with a preliminary trial date of September 19.

But how did this guy get a cell phone if he lives in a community that shuns technology?

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According to the blog Amish in America, the Amish will adapt to select modern technology when it increases productivity.  While some communities have banned telephones in the home, the Amish can keep those devices in their workplaces or in a barn so that “the barrier between home and phone is maintained.”

Cell phones blur that line, however.  As mobile use has proliferated among Amish youngsters and small business owners, some communities worry that excessive use of this technology will promote “gossip” and cause users to visit each other less often and spend less time with their families–threatening two important Amish traditions.

Indiana is home to the third-largest Amish community in the country.

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