TOPEKA (KSNT) – Shawnee County District Attorney Mike Kagay announced Tuesday that he had filed criminal charges against James Aaron Hartpence, in relation to allegations that Hartpence attempted to solicit a minor to perform sex acts.
The investigation began as a sting operation by the Osage County Sheriff’s Office when a deputy was posing as a minor female was solicited online by Hartpence to perform sex for money.
The investigation into the online activity was taken over by the Topeka Police Department after Hartpence’s phone was seized during a separate narcotics search warrant at his home.
Kagay said the charges shifted when his office became aware of the online activity.
Those charges include:
- attempted aggravated human trafficking (Level 3 Felony) and
- attempted commercial sexual exploitation of a child (Level 6 Felony)
Hartpence was arrested on the new charges and is being held on a $250,000 bond in that case.