Sex sting leads to Warren man’s arrest

AUSTINTOWN — A Warren man is being held in the Mahoning County Jail without bond awaiting his first appearance in court on charges that accuse him of having an inappropriate sexual relationship with a teenage boy.

Gabriel Talanca, 22, faces a 10-count indictment that stems from an undercover operation that had an Austintown police officer pose as a 15-year-old boy on a dating app, according to a police report.

He is set to be arraigned Tuesday in Mahoning County Common Pleas Court on seven counts of importuning, a charge that accuses him of soliciting sexual activity; two counts disseminating matter harmful to a juvenile; and one count of possession of criminal tools.

Talanca was arrested Wednesday at his home, 777 East Ave. SE, Warren, the report states.

Police say Talanca first contacted the officer over the app on Dec. 15 with the user name “Let’s Chill,” and again on Dec. 19 and 20, when he identified himself as “Gabe,” the report states. The communication continued through January and included sexually explicit conversations and Talanca asking for nude photos of the boy, the report states.

At one point, Talanca sent nude photos of himself to the police officer, the report states. On Jan. 2, the report states the officer told Talanca the boy was 15 years old. The next day, Talanca sent the boy his phone number and the conversations continued over the phone by text.

The report states Talanca understood the ramifications of the relationship.

“Remember, you’re 15. If you did something with me and people found out I could go to prison for a long time. You don’t want to do that to me do you,” the report states.

On Jan. 10, the report states Talanca was hesitant to meet the boy due to the possibility of being arrested.

“How can I trust that you aren’t a cop trying to put me in jail for you being too young,” the report states. Also, according to the report, Talanca wrote, “You have to understand where I’m coming from here, I could get in a lot of trouble betting (being) with you. I just want to cross my t’s and dot my i’s before we meet so I know I won’t get into trouble … .”

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