The Monroe County Sheriff’s Office and the Sweetwater Police Department conducted a sting operation May 26 that saw six men get arrested for allegedly seeking to pay for sex with teenage girls.
Sweetwater Det. John Scruggs and Sheriff’s Det. Jason Filyaw said the operation was held at a hotel in Sweetwater where undercover agents posing as underage girls offered to have sex with the men for money.
Of the six men arrested, only one was from Monroe County. James Stephen Stinnett, 37, Scenic View Road, Madisonville, came to the hotel, Fillyaw said, and offered $80 for “specified sex acts” with one of the undercover agents. He was charged with violating the trafficking for commercial sex act.
Matthew Jason Cohen, 42, Stetson Drive, Maryville, was accused of offering $60 for the alleged services and was also charged with violating the trafficking for commercial sex act.
Anthony Cornelius Baylis, 37, Morgan Avenue, Harriman; Joshua James Thomas, 33, Golden Way, White Pine; and Pedro Juan Berenguer Torres, 41, all allegedly offered $120 for sex with who they thought were teenage girls and were charged with violating the trafficking for commercial sex act.
The sixth man arrested appeared to have reservations about what was going on, but then asked for an explicit picture and sealed his fate.
Scruggs said Steven Kobylski, 33, County Road 100, Decatur, came to the area of the hotel and was in contact with one of the undercover agents, maybe paying $60 for a quick visit, but he was apprehensive due to the girl being only 16.
But then he allegedly asked the undercover agent for a photo of her breasts and officers went and picked him up, charging him with soliciting the sexual exploitation of a minor.