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Amish man in Indiana arrested, accused of sexting girl, 12

By the CNN Wire Staff
Police said William R. Yoder admitted that he sent video messages, naked pictures and lewd text messages.
Police said William R. Yoder admitted that he sent video messages, naked pictures and lewd text messages.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • William R. Yoder was arrested after identifying himself to an undercover agent
  • He arrived at the restaurant rendezvous in a one-horse carriage, police say
  • Forensic examination revealed 600 messages had been exchanged
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(CNN) -- Police in Indiana say they arrested an Amish man who arrived in a horse-drawn buggy for a presumed rendezvous with a 12-year-old girl to whom he had sent sexually explicit cell phone messages.

Officers arrested 21-year-old William R. Yoder on Wednesday, June 15, after he rode up to the Takathemoke Restaurant in Milroy, Indiana, and approached an undercover agent.

"The suspect arrived, in a one-horse carriage as he said he would, was identified by the undercover officer confirming his identity and was taken into custody without incident," said Connersville, Indiana, police Detective Craig Pennington.

Yoder was taken to Fayette County Jail, about 60 miles east of Indianapolis, where in a videotaped statement he confessed that he sent video messages, naked pictures of himself and lewd text messages. He posted bail June 16.

Amish communities typically live outside mainstream America, avoiding most influences of modernity --especially when it comes to technology.

The Amish community Yoder lived in can use cell phones for professional purposes only and charge them away from their homes -- for instance barns, according to Pennington. They have no TVs or computers and many communities do not allow the use of cell phones.

Yoder worked at a woodshop in Rush County, Indiana, Pennington said.

According to Pennington, Yoder said he believed he was going to have sex with the girl, that he realized it was a bad decision and that he had never done anything like it before.

The case came to light after the girl's parents contacted police in Connersville to report that their daughter had received three sexually explicit messages, including a request that she send back naked pictures of herself, Pennington said.

The phone was handed over to Indiana State Police, and a forensic examination revealed that 600 text messages, along with six picture messages and two video messages, had been exchanged between the girl and Yoder.

"I am happy that no further victimization occurred, and that he was at least truthful about his description," Pennington said, "and I believe that the communication between child and parent, however awkward it may have been, was crucial in stopping this behavior and culminated in a successful arrest and seizure of the suspect and his cell phone."

Bond was set at $20,000 with a preliminary trial date of September 19.

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