Little league coach faces a judge, accused of soliciting sex from a teen

WARWICK, R.I. (WLNE) — A little league coach faced a judge this morning, caught trying to solicit sex from a teenager. He spent the weekend at the ACI after being arrested at a Warwick hotel where he thought he was meeting a 14 year old boy.

The judge did not mince his words in court, saying there’s no tolerance for what Christopher Merchant was caught doing. He’s been ordered to stay away from children and fired by the little league he coached for in Plainfield, Connecticut

A children’s baseball coach handcuffed and in front of a judge accused of soliciting a minor for sex. Police say he was in possession of a number of items indicating planned sexual activity when he was arrested.

Christopher Merchant was taken into custody at the Warwick Radisson on Friday. The 33 year old Connecticut man had been chatting with an undercover cop online, under the impression it was a 14 year old boy. Merchant sent sexually explicit pictures and videos and asked for them in return, eventually booking a room at the Radisson where police arrested him.

He allowed police to search his phone and drop box account where they say they found child pornography, some of the children appearing as young as 6 or 7 years old.

State police say there’s no evidence Merchant had any involvement with children in the Plainfield Little League.

A spokesperson there says all coaches get a background check but wouldn’t say when Merchant had last been checked.

The judge set bail at $50,000.

“It’s a very serious charge we live in an age of moral relativism, but not as to this stuff. That society to this day has no tolerance for whatsoever, so that’s why I’m setting bail so high,” says Judge Joseph P. Ippolito Jr.

State police wouldn’t comment on whether they have reason to believe there are victims. At last check Merchant hadn’t posted bail.

© WLNE/ABC 6 2019