By Shereen Siewert

MERRILL — A 52-year-old Merrill man who tried to arrange a sexual encounter with a 10-year-old boy was sentenced Friday to seven years in prison followed by 10 years extended supervision.

James S. Ament, was convicted in July in Lincoln County Circuit Court of child enticement. Charges of attempted first-degree child sex assault and using a computer to facilitate a sex crime were dismissed but were considered at sentencing.

Prosecutors say Ament wrote his phone number in a bathroom stall at a Merrill park and began communicating with two children who called the number in August 2018. Then, prosecutors say, Ament solicited sex from the children, who called the police.

Officers acted quickly to set up a sting and began communicating with Ament, posing as a 10-year-old boy. Ament was arrested after arranging to meet the “boy” at Riverside Park in Merrill.

During a sentencing hearing Friday, Lincoln County Circuit Judge Robert Russell allowed Ament 431 days credit for time served awaiting trial.