Youth baseball coach accused of soliciting teen to enter plea

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WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A Connecticut youth baseball coach accused of using the internet to solicit a young boy for sex is set to file for a plea agreement in federal court.

Christopher Merchant, 33 of Canterbury, Conn., was arrested in January at a Warwick hotel he had allegedly reserved to have sex with a 14-year-old boy, according to Rhode Island State Police.

Investigators said Merchant met the young boy on a dating app for gay men, though the account was being operated by an undercover detective.

At the time of his arrest, police found child pornography on Merchant’s phone.

Merchant was charged with indecent solicitation of a child, electronically disseminating indecent material to a minor and possession of child pornography.

Court documents reveal Merchant is expected to plead guilty to the federal charges against him. He is also facing state charges, though a spokesperson for the Attorney General’s office says the case is still pending.

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