KSU student arrested for soliciting girls

Michael Lewis

Joseph Heidrick, 26, a Kent State student from Parma, is suspected of propositioning more than half a dozen young girls for sex.

Last week, he was arrested for felony importuning, or offering sex to a minor. After numerous reports of someone allegedly traveling the streets of Ravenna offering sex to middle school students as they walked home from school, Ravenna police increased their patrols.

Police located Heidrick when an officer in the Kent Police Department saw a notice broadcasting the crime and description of the suspect. The officer matched his files to the license number and the type of car, a black Cavalier with a red stripe down the side.

The information that Heidrick was on probation for public indecency in Kent prompted a call from Heidrick’s probation officer for a meeting, ending in his arrest.

According to Lt. Ray Stein of the Kent Police Department, Heidrick would wait at a street corner for young girls, then turn his car in front of them and ask them to come closer to see if they wanted to fool around. Apparently, he exposed himself while masturbating.

“Those guys get honed in on something that works for them and they run with it,” Stein said. “They continue to follow the same pattern.”

The case is still under investigation by the Portage County Prosecutor Victor Vigluicci. Vigluicci also mentioned a public indecency case from 2005 involving Heidrick. Other charges may be added including attempted kidnapping.

Heidrick is being held on a $50,000 bond for fifth-degree felony charges. His preliminary trial is set to begin Friday.

Contact safety reporter Michael Lewis at [email protected].