Youth Baseball Coach Sentenced for Soliciting Minor

A Plainfield Little League coach who arranged to meet with a 14-year-old boy to engage in illicit sexual activity has been sentenced to five years in prison. 

Christopher Merchant, 34, of Woodstock, Connecticut, was sentenced Friday in federal court in Providence, Rhode Island. 

Merchant was arrested in January at a Warwick, Rhode Island hotel where authorities said he had arranged to meet who he thought was a 14-year-old boy. In fact, the person he had been corresponding with was an officer with a task force dedicated to fighting internet crimes against children. 

At the time, Merchant was found to have child pornography on his phone. 

Merchant pleaded guilty in March to interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct and transporting child pornography. 

Prosecutors said Merchant was the vice president and coach of the Plainfield Little League. 

Merchant was suspended from all activities in the little league pending the outcome of both state and federal investigations.

Copyright AP - Associated Press
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