Local man sentenced to federal prison for sex crimes

by: Joe Gorman

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) — A Cambridge Avenue man was sentenced Tuesday to over 21 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to sex crimes.

Andrew Strickland, 27, received a sentence of 262 months in prison from U.S. Judge Patricia Gaughan in the U.S. Northern District Court of Ohio on a charge of sexual exploitation.

Strickland pleaded guilty in December to the charge.

The charges stem from an investigation that began in July 2019 after a then 16-year-old girl in Farmdale said that Strickland had coerced her into performing a sex act on a baby.

A criminal complaint in the case said the teen told investigators that Strickland requested nude photos, sent him nude photos and wanted the teen to perform a sex act on a horse or on a child who was pictured on the teen’s Facebook page.

The teen provided pictures to Strickland of random people on the internet but did perform the sex act on the child for fear that Strickland would harm the teen or the teen’s family, according to the complaint.

The sex act on the child happened inside a camper while at a horse show in Clark County, Ohio, and it was recorded on a phone and shared with Strickland, according to the complaint.

Authorities served a search warrant in October of 2019 at Strickland’s home on Cambridge Avenue, where he told authorities he had created several fake Facebook profiles because he did not want his wife and mother to know what he was doing online.

Warrants were also served for investigators to search Strickland’s phone and Facebook page.

Strickland’s attorneys originally filed a not guilty by reason of insanity plea and asked for a competency evaluation of their client. The evaluation, which was completed in December of 2020, found that Strickland is competent to stand trial.

“This lengthy sentence reflects our commitment to protecting vulnerable victims and punishing individuals who engage in this type of conduct,” Acting U.S. Attorney For The Northern District Of Ohio Michelle M. Baeppler said in a news release.