Former Catholic Democratic leader pleads guilty to prostituting 17-year-old

ppmcfadden130709 Robert Eric McFadden

R. Eric McFadden, a former leader of several Democrat-leaning Catholic groups, has pled guilty to two counts of compelling prostitution for prostituting a 17-year-old girl on the internet.

Five other counts of pandering obscenity and promoting prostitution were dismissed.

McFadden, 46, was former director of Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland’s Office of Faith-Based Initiatives. He worked for Catholics for Kerry in 2004 and served as the president of Catholics for Faithful Citizenship in 2005. In 2006 he served as a spokesman for Catholics in Alliance for the Common Good and was an outreach organizer for Hillary Clinton’s campaign for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.

He had been accused of putting nude photographs of a girl on a website to promote prostitution. Police learned of the activity during an online sex sting.

Assistant Prosecutor Anthony Pierson said McFadden had met the girl in an internet chat room and offered her services to other men on the site as a “recommended” prostitute.

McFadden used complex encoded postings on Craigslist that would look like useless or corrupted data, in which he would embed information about the woman available for prostitution. He used several aliases, including “mcfaddencatholic” and “God O Thunder.”

Keith Golden, McFadden’s defense attorney, said that McFadden is not charged with having sexual relations with the girl but with promoting her sex services on Craigslist.

McFadden, now free on $100,000 bond, faces up to 10 years in prison. His sentencing has been set for August 20.

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