Red Bank man accused of soliciting 13-year-old girl, asking her to send nude photos

Red Bank man accused of soliciting 13-year-old girl, asking her to send nude photos

January 10th, 2014 by Beth Burger in Local Regional News

James Nickolas Renfro

A 21-year-old Red Bank man is accused of trying to lure a 13-year-old girl to Northgate Mall after asking her on Facebook to send him nude pictures of herself, according to Chattanooga police.

He told the girl he had leukemia and that the pictures would ease his pain, authorities said.

James Nickolas Renfro, who does not have leukemia, faces charges of solicitation of a minor, evading arrest, two counts of aggravated assault and possession of drug paraphernalia.

The girl told Renfro that she was only 13. He persisted in his request for the photos, according to an arrest report. At one point he offered money for photos.

Renfro later told Investigator Zach Fuller that "he would have sent nude pictures of himself to the 13-year-old girl if she would have asked."

Police logged on the account posing as the girl with the permission of the girl's mother.

When Renfro was told that the girl would be at Northgate Mall alone, he asked to meet her and take her to another place.

"The defendant told the 13-year-old girl he would be gentle and not to be nervous," the arrest report states.

When Renfro arrived at the mall Wednesday afternoon, Chattanooga police officers were waiting to take him into custody. They converged on him while he was still in his vehicle.

As an officer tried to open the driver's side door of his car, Renfro put the vehicle in reverse, hitting the officer with the vehicle. He continued to drive in reverse and collided with a female sergeant's vehicle. She was inside the car.

Renfro attempted to get away but was caught in the mall parking lot as other officers closed in.

As police were arresting him, Renfro said he didn't know how young the girl was. Police also found a marijuana pipe in his car.

He later told officers he knew what he was doing and took responsibility.

Renfro is scheduled to appear Jan. 22 before Hamilton County General Sessions Court Judge Gary Starnes. He remains in custody on a $240,000 bond.

Contact staff writer Beth Burger at bburger@timesfreepress.com or 423-757-6406.