Registered sex offender accused of sex abuse involving teen girl indicted on charges

By WHIO Staff

DAYTON — A man previously convicted for sex crimes involving a juvenile in 2016 is facing charges after police say he had sex with a 14-year-old girl he’d been communicating with on social media.

Gerald Pendergrass III, 28, of Dayton, was indicted on unlawful sexual conduct with a minor, importuning and seven counts of disseminating matter harmful to juveniles, according to court records.

Police said Pendergrass met with a 14-year-old girl at an address on Almond Avenue in Dayton between May 1 and Aug. 9.

“The juvenile invited Gerald Pendergrass III to visit...where they then engaged in sexual intercourse,” an affidavit read. “Instagram communications were obtained between Gerald Pendergrass III and the victim.”

Pendergrass sent multiple pornographic videos and images between December 2021 and January 2022, according to police.

Public records showed Pendergrass is a registered sex offender after a previous conviction for engaging sex with an underage girl in 2016. He served a year-and -a-half in prison for that conviction.

News Center 7 spoke with the mother of the 14-year-old victim. WHIO does not normally identify alleged victims of sexual abuse, but Nicole Kirkland contact us in hopes of warning parents.

Kirkland said that she set up her own sting operation to catch Pendergrass, who she said sexually abused her daughter. She told us she had confiscated her daughter’s phone and had been communicating with Pendergrass with her Instagram, posing as her daughter. She said that even after Pendergrass knew police were looking for him, he agreed to meet the daughter.

Some members of a U.S. Marshal’s SOFAST Task Force went to the house where the meetup was supposed to happen, but other marshals had already grabbed Pendergrass when he stepped off the bus.

Pendergrass is currently booked in the Montgomery County Jail, according to jail records.