A court date is pending for a Fenton Township man who was among 22 people charged earlier this month in a child sex sting operation.

25-year-old Kurtis Statler was charged June 8th with one count of child sexually abusive activity, using a computer/internet to commit a crime, and accosting a child for immoral purposes. Genesee County Sheriff Robert Pickell said those arrested were believed to be targeting children for sexual purposes in Genesee County. However, attorneys for some of the defendants have claimed they were entrapped by the department.

While some like Statler live in the county, others are from Saginaw, Shiawassee, Oakland, Wayne, Lapeer and Tuscola counties. The investigation involved the newly formed Genesee Human Oppression Strike Team, or GHOST. Pickell said the arrests demonstrated that predators are, “increasingly becoming more adept at interacting with children through various social media platforms” He urged law enforcement, parents, and the community as a whole to work together to increase awareness of the dangers these predators present, and continue to develop tools to identify them and remove the threat they pose.

Statler’s bond was set at $10,000 on each charge. He was ordered to have no contact with anyone under the age of 18 except family members, and not to use a computer, the internet or a smartphone. (JK)