Kalamazoo man admits to flying to New York to meet child for sex


(WETM) — A 76-year-old Kalamazoo man has pleaded guilty to going from Michigan to south central New York state to engage in “illicit sexual conduct with an 11-year-old child,” federal authorities say.

As part of Robert Hardin’s plea, according to a U.S. Attorney’s Office in New York state, he admitted that from July through August this year, he exchanged explicit messages online and via text with an undercover officer posing as the mother of an 11-year-old girl. In these messages, authorities said, Hardin “expressed a desire to engage in sexually explicit conduct with the child.”

Hardin also admitted that on Aug. 24, 2021, he traveled from Michigan to New York to meet with the child and engage in sexual conduct with her in the Binghamton area. He was arrested upon his arrival and has been in custody since then.

Sentencing is scheduled for March 1, 2022, in Binghamton. Hardin faces up to 30 years in prison, a fine of up to $250,000 and supervised release for at least five years and up to life.

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