Charges dropped in Tallahassee online solicitation case

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By: WCTV Eyewitness News
August 15, 2019

TALLAHASSEE, Fla (WCTV) -- Prosecutors have dropped the charges against a man accused of soliciting a minor online and sending her sexually explicit photos.

California-based artist David Ruth was scheduled to stand trial this week for the 2015 charges involving an 11-year-old girl in Tallahassee.

“We’re glad that justice has prevailed,” defense attorney Joshua Zelman said. “We’re glad that Mr. Ruth can move on with his life.”

Court records show prosecutors dropped the charges on Friday. Those records show that the victim could no longer positively identify Ruth as the man she communicated with on line and law enforcement could not “confirm or deny the identity of the perpetrator though forensic means” like an IP address, screen name or email address. Those court records also show the defense presented information about a man bearing a resemblance to Ruth who may have motive to implicate him.

Prosecutor A. Callaway Scott says the victim and her family are ready to move on. “If it was him, we hope it scares him from ever doing this again,” Scott said.

By: WCTV Eyewitness News
October 15, 2015

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. -- A California man has been arrested in Tallahassee after an investigation revealed sexually explicit online conversations with a minor.

63-year-old David Ruth was arrested Wednesday on 2 counts of Solicitation of a Minor and 6 counts of Transmission of Harmful Material to a Minor.

The investigation began in February when the mother of the victim discovered communications between her 11-year-old daughter and Ruth on the child's phone and contacted authorities.

The ensuing investigation uncovered conversations between Ruth and the child in which Ruth acknowledged the child's age, but went on to send her sexually explicit messages and photos.

Ruth surrendered to authorities in Tallahassee on Wednesday.

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