Man Accused of Luring Kids Pleads Not Guilty
MENTOR, Ohio — A Mentor man pleaded not guilty after police say he lured several children into the woods and threatened to sexually assault one of them.
Kevin Gallagher, 53, did not want to talk to Fox 8 about the charges against him that include three counts of criminal child enticement and aggravated menacing.
At his arraignment on Friday, Gallagher was ordered to pay $350 for a GPS tracking unit he must wear, other wise he will be held in jail.
Gallagher’s brother, who did not want to be identified, told Fox 8 News the man has a mental problem.
Mentor police say around 2:30 p.m. Wednesday, Kevin Gallagher lured four children, ages 6 to 10, into the woods near the Western Reserve Condominium complex where they all live.
“(Gallagher) came up to us. He said, ‘Can you guys come in the woods and find my phone?’ So we went, he told us to split up, then like, me and him went over there and then my friends went over there,” said 8-year-old Bojan Jandric.
“According to the boy, the male told him that he was gonna take his clothes off and do some sexual things to him, and when we asked if he said anything specifically, the boy said (Gallagher) told him he was gonna rape him,” said Lt. Tim Allen with Mentor police.
The children had been washing a car in the parking lot at the time.
Fortunately, they left the water hose running, and one of their mothers yelled for them to come home, police say, just as Gallagher was taking off his clothes.
“The boy said he did take his shirt off, and started to take his pants off, when the mother came and called for them. Immediately, the guy left. It was lucky that the kids left the hose on, because in a matter of minutes, he was with them in the woods,” said Allen.
“He would walk by us every day and say, ‘Hi’ and ‘bye’ to us. We’ll say ‘hi’ back. He always tells my brother he’ll take him to a baseball game or give him a baseball,” said Bojan’s mother.
Sher does not speak English well, so her 14-year old son, Leo, spoke for her.
“She’s scared, and she doesn’t want that guy doing it to other kids, and she doesn’t want him living around here,” said Leo Jandric.
“I was, like, nervous … ’cause I thought he was gonna do something to me,” said Bojan.
Mentor police say Gallagher was arrested on two counts of gross sexual imposition in 1993, but he was later convicted of assault.