Iron County Sheriff's Office
Alexander Jay Ryan

CEDAR CITY — An eighth man has been charged in connection with an Iron County sting operation targeting alleged child sex offenders.

Alexander Jay Ryan, 20, of Enoch, was charged Wednesday in 5th District Court with criminal solicitation, a first-degree felony; and enticing a minor over the internet or by texting, a second-degree felony.

On Jan. 28, Ryan responded to a fake internet ad placed by undercover officers "seeking someone to participate in an incest lifestyle," according to charging documents. He told the undercover officer that he was interested in having sex with whom he believed was a 12-year-old girl and her mother, the charges state.

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After several conversations through texting and the app Kik, Ryan arranged to meet in Paragonah on Feb. 16 with the girl, court records state. He never showed up, however, later claiming he had a "sudden change of heart" after hearing "something on the news about Craigslist meets that scared him," the charges state.

But because he "engaged in conversation for several weeks and intended to have sex with a 12-year-old girl," prosecutors charged him, according to court documents.

Seven other menwere previously chargedas part of the same undercover operation. Their charges range from solicitation to commit child rape to solicitation to commit child kidnapping.