A Central Ohio man who admitted to the FBI that he taped himself having sex with a child for money is thought to have fled the area.
Lowell "Dusty" Thompson, 52, of Mount Sterling is charged with producing and distributing child pornography. Mount Sterling police received a parental complaint that Thompson forced two 8-year-old girls into sexual activity with each other while he videotaped it.
According to an FBI affidavit, one of the girls said Thompson forced her to have sex with him at his home and at a hotel.
Thompson later admitted taping children having sex as far back as 2004.
He told the FBI he produced as many as 15 videos that he sold to a man in Arizona for $100 per tape.
Thompson told the FBI and Mount Sterling police that he "wanted to cooperate" and "would bring (the FBI) more info."
Last week, he "was released with his promise to return the next day."
Instead, Thompson fled.
Many neighbors and others in the community say he should have been arrested and detained rather than allowed to leave the police station.
Mount Sterling Police Chief Michael McCoy told reporters he could have arrested Thompson but chose not to based on the input of the Madison County Prosecutor's office.
Prosecutor Steve Pronai countered that he had no input on the decision.
Thompson served three months in prison in 1994 for gross sexual imposition, yet neighbors said kids regularly would hang out at his house.
Thompson's backyard featured a treehouse and a swimming pool. A tire swing hung in the front yard.
"I'd seen him with his white truck and trailer loading stuff up," said neighbor George Smith. "I think they probably should have kept him under the charges."
The FBI believes Thompson may be driving a 1998 dark green Chevrolet Venture van with Ohio license plate ENZ4931.
"25% of all sex offenders re-offend within 15 years"