James Hugh McCartney (Photo courtesy of the Highland County Justice Center)
James Hugh McCartney (Photo courtesy of the Highland County Justice Center)
A Hillsboro man is currently in the Highland County Justice Center after being charged with trafficking in persons, a first-degree felony.

According to the complaint filed March 1 in Hillsboro Municipal Court, James Hugh McCartney, 61, of Hillsboro has been charged under ORC 2905.32(A)(1). McCartney allegedly “did knowingly attempt to recruit, lure, entice, isolate, harbor, transport, provide, obtain or maintain another person, when [he] knows that the other person will be subjected to involuntary servitude or be compelled to engage in sexual activity for hire, engage in a performance that is obscene, sexually oriented, or nudity oriented, or be a model or participant in the production of material that is obscene, sexually oriented, or nudity oriented.”

An affidavit filed with the court says that deputies of the Highland County Sheriff’s Office received a report from two individuals on Feb. 25, alleging that they had received “messages from [McCartney] indicating what he does to children” and providing copies of the alleged messages, which were sexually explicit.

One individual also allegedly recorded a phone conversation with McCartney, in which McCartney allegedly asks the individual to find him a female individual “as young as you can.”

According to the affidavit, McCartney has prior convictions of pandering obscenity and pandering obscenity involving a minor in Ohio as well as being convicted of lewd and lascivious acts with a minor in the state of California. He is “currently listed as a Pre-AWA Sexual Predator by the State of Ohio” and is required to be a “lifetime registrant” on the sex offender registry, the affidavit says.

McCartney appeared in Hillsboro Municipal Court Monday, March 1 for arraignment. He was placed under a $250,000 bond. A preliminary hearing is set for March 9. As of March 2, he was listed as an inmate in the Highland County Justice Center.