Michigan man admits to flying to New York to meet an 11-year-old for sex, officials say


(WETM) — A Michigan man has pleaded guilty to traveling from Michigan to New York to engage in “illicit sexual conduct with an 11-year-old child.”

Robert Hardin, 76, on Tuesday admitted that from July of 2021 through August 2021 he exchanged sexually explicit messages via an online social networking application and text messages with an undercover officer posing as the mother of an 11-year-old girl. 

In these messages, the U.S. Attorney’s Office says Hardin “expressed a desire to engage in sexually explicit conduct with the child.” Hardin further admitted that on Aug. 24, 2021, he traveled from Michigan to New York in order to meet with the child and engage in sexual conduct with her at a location in the Binghamton area. 

Hardin, of Kalamazoo, was arrested after arriving at the location and has been in custody since that date.

Sentencing is scheduled for next March in Binghamton. Hardin faces up to 30 years in prison. 

This case was investigated by the FBI Mid-State Child Exploitation Task Force.

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