Plainfield coach accused of soliciting teen facing federal charges


WARWICK, R.I. (WPRI) — A Connecticut Little League coach accused of soliciting sex from someone he believed to be a teenage boy is now facing federal charges.

According to a criminal complaint filed in U.S. District Court Tuesday, 33-year-old Christopher Merchant, of Canterbury, is being charged with traveling across state lines to engage in prohibited sexual activity, attempting to send obscene material to a minor, receiving child pornography, and possession of child pornography.

Related Content: Youth baseball coach arraigned, accused of soliciting teen for sex

State police said they arrested Merchant at a Warwick hotel Friday after he allegedly arrived there expecting to meet a 14-year-old boy for sex. State police said the teen Merchant thought he had been talking to online was actually an undercover detective.

State police said they found child pornography on Merchant’s phone when they arrested him. Police said Merchant also had “non-pornographic” images of members of his Little League team.

Merchant was released from the ACI Monday night after posting bail, prison officials said. At his arraignment Monday, the judge said Merchant could return to Connecticut if he made bail. However, the judge ordered him to stay away from children and to not use the internet except for business.

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