Darrin Troyer of Dover, Ohio was arrested for having sex with a minor. He is being accused of sending nude photos to a 14-year-old on Facebook, then later meeting with the victim to have sex at a secluded location. Troyer claims that he thought the teen was an adult. He is currently being held in the Summit County Jail.
The 48-year-old was originally charged with a fourth-degree felony of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor. Troyer has now been indicted on two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor and both charges are third-degree felonies. He also charged with one count of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor which is a fourth-degree felony.
Troyer runs the Ohio-based paranormal group Amish Paranormal Society out of Navarre. He said that they specialize in doing residential paranormal investigations, coming into people’s homes and gathering evidence of ghosts and the afterlife. Troyer also runs a family business with his two brothers called Troyer’s Genuine Trail Bologna. The business spans four generations and is over a hundred years old. It serves Amish Country and is located at 6552 State Route 515 in Dundee.
The boy’s family members found out that the 14-year-old was meeting with an older adult for sex and they contacted the sheriff’s department. A parent surrendered the teen’s computer to forensics to be investigated. Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Detective Cathy Bickford took over the teen’s Facebook profile and continued conversations with Troyer posing as the teen.
Detective Bickford said that Troyer talked with the teen about ghost hunting and that they met at Dover City Park to look for spirits. After meeting at the park, the two ended up having sex. According to Chief Deputy Orvis Campbell of the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office, they went to the park several times to meet for sex. Bickford posing as the boy, arranged to meet Troyer at the park on March 30 where Troyer was promptly arrested.
The Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office executed a search warrant to retrieve computers and a cell phone that Troyer used for the crime. Investigators applied for an additional search warrant to go through the devices to look for communication between the two. Detective Bickford says it is unclear how long Troyer has been meeting with the teenager but it has been going on for some time.
Troyer was released on $50,000 bail from the Tuscarawas County Jail in March but it was revoked in April just eleven days later. The sheriff department was informed that he violated terms of his bail by sending text messages to a 15-year-old boy. Troyer was arrested on April 18 and is now back in jail. On June 22, he appeared before Judge Elizabeth Lehigh Thomakos in the Tuscarawas County Common Pleas Court in New Philadelphia. Troyer pleaded not guilty to the charges.
“Clearly, Mr. Troyer is not someone who understood and obeyed the rules the first time around. I hope his stay in the Summit County jail has made him aware that we are very serious about him not having contact with any juveniles, via electronic device or be it in person,” Tuscarawas County Assistant Prosecutor Amanda Miller told Judge Thomakos in court during the pretrial.
Miller recommended that Troyer’s bond stay at $500,000. Troyer’s defense attorney, Herbert Morello, requested the the bond be lowered to $50,000. Judge Thomakos upheld Miller’s recommendation of a $500,000 bond.
“I understand a violation is a violation when you’re looking at bond. The text message that was sent was sent to a neighbor that my client was asking to mow the grass at his house. He had mowed the grass for several years and the text said, ‘Ask your parents if it’s okay if you can mow the grass.’ I understand that that’s a violation but I think the first person that realized ‘Oh my gosh, I made a mistake, I should not have sent that text’ was Darrin Troyer,” Morello said to the judge.
Troyer admitted to the allegations and pleaded guilty on August 31 to the multiple felony charges he was facing. He plead to two counts of unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, which are both third-degree felonies, and one count of attempted unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, which is a fourth-degree felony.
Miller recommended to the court that Troyer should serve a four-year prison sentence, with stipulations that he could be released after 30 months if there were no disciplinary infractions. The prosecutor said that she would not oppose an early, judicial release if Troyer behaved in prison.
Troyer is facing five years for each third-degree felony and up to 18 months for the fourth-degree felony. According to the Times Reporter, his sentencing hearing is scheduled for Thursday, October 15 at 8:45 9 a.m.
If convicted, Troyer will be classified as a tier-one sex offender. He will be required to report to the sheriff’s office every six months for the rest of his life.
“Although I don’t know the facts we all know the man in question and it is extremely hard to believe he would ever do something like this,” Stagecoach Inn caretaker Dave Goldinger said, defending Troyer in a paranormal discussion group on Facebook recently.
Goldinger has also found himself under scrutiny from the paranormal community this year for allegedly committing fraud through PayPal. He is being accused of scheduling ghost hunts up to a year in advance then later cancelling them and not refunding his customers the money. In the past, Goldinger was accused of using the paranormal community to threaten and stalk women.
Erie Echo attempted to reach out to Troyer and Amish Paranormal Society members but they were unavailable for comment. Detective Bickford asks that anyone with information on the case is urged to call her at 330-339-7713 or contact the Tuscarawas County Sheriff’s Office.