A month-long investigation came to an end on July 9th of this year when authorities in the Kirksville area took a Meadville man into custody. Ronald Nickell, 66, was a convicted sex offender who was required by law to register all online personal profiles. The Kirksville Regional Computer Crimes Unit had uncovered a profile that Nickell had failed to mention to law enforcement.
The unit established contact with Nickell through the profile, posing as a 13-year-old female. Nickell allegedly sent messages about wanting to engage in a sexual relationship with the 13 year old female along with requesting to take nude photographs of her after they met.
He then made arrangements to meet the 13 year old female in Kirksville in a parking lot near a local park on July 9th. The unit along with detectives from the Kirksville Police Department were on scene when Nickell arrived and he was taken into custody and charged with felony attempted enticement of a child.
The case is set for a jury trial on February 23rd of 2015.
For now, Nickell remains in custody on a $150,000, cash-only bond. Motions to modify and reduce bond in the matter have been denied by the court.
The Kirksville Police Department offers the following tips regarding your child’s safety on the internet:
• Know what your child is doing online and where they are doing it.
• Talk to your child about potential online dangers.
• Consider using filtering or monitoring software for your computer.
• Contact your Internet Service Provider (ISP) about their filtering capabilities.
• Teach your child to never give out personal information online.
• Tell your child to never meet with anyone they meet online unless you are present.
• Keep the computer out of your child’s bedroom and in a central location.
Report any online incidents to your local police department or sheriff’s office. If anyone believes that they may have information that would help investigators they can contact the Kirksville Police Department, 660-785-6945, 660-627-BUST (anonymous tip line) or [email protected].