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Posted on Fri, Oct 8, 2010 : 2:27 p.m.

Former University of Michigan debate director convicted of soliciting minor online

By Art Aisner

The former director of the University of Michigan's debate team will be sentenced later this month after pleading guilty to soliciting a minor for sex over the Internet.

Joshua Hoe, 43, pleaded guilty to counts of communicating with another to commit a crime over the Internet and accosting a child for immoral purposes, court records show. Five other counts of computer-related crimes will be dismissed at sentencing as part of the plea deal.

joshua hoe 042810.jpg

Joshua Hoe

Hoe, of Ypsilanti, was charged in April after investigators with the Michigan Attorney General’s office concluded he engaged in graphic sexual conversations with and propositioned someone online that he believed to be a 14-year-old girl, authorities said. The online persona was really an undercover investigator.

His attorney, Thomas Loeb, did not return messages from

Aaron Kall, who was the assistant director, is now listed as director of the debate team, according to the program’s website.

Hoe still appears on the U-M online directory, but the only mention of the debate team is a URL to a dead link. His directory entry was updated in June.

Hoe remains free pending his sentencing Oct. 20 after posting $3,750 bond in May, records show.

Art Aisner is a freelance writer for Reach the news desk at or 734-623-2530.



Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 11:39 a.m.

Huron Valley in the general population.Those cons won't debate it this perv will be dead.

Milton Shift

Sun, Oct 10, 2010 : 12:21 a.m.

Our time is best spent educating kids and getting them to sound the alarm about people like this.


Sat, Oct 9, 2010 : 9:22 p.m.

Basic Bob, A police officer posing as a 14-year-old is no different than a police officer posing as a prostitute or a hit man or a drug dealer. The police officer isn't the one making the suggestion to meet for sex; the suspect is doing that. As soon as he makes that suggestion, he's committed a crime. Now as to what happens to him - probably not much in terms of punishment - but he's basically "outed" himself. He's now on the radar. If he's convicted, he won't be working with minors anywhere, and he'll be identified on the sex offender list. Sounds about right.


Sat, Oct 9, 2010 : 9:33 a.m. law enforcement should leave these scumbag pedophiles alone to commit crimes against the real children? How is it entrapment if some sicko tells a person they think is a minor the vile things they wish to do, whether that person is a minor or not? The intent of the pervert is to engage in sex with a minor, not an adult.

Basic Bob

Sat, Oct 9, 2010 : 9:26 a.m.

@YpsiLivin, I agree with 90% of what you said. The part I am struggling with is that the undercover investigator was an adult police officer targeting potential offenders. If an adult tries to pick up another adult on the computer, it is not a crime. @jcj, My two teenage daughters both spend a fair amount of time on the internet. They are not hooking up with 43 year old men, or police officers impersonating teenage girls. I am not trying to be flippant, I just think this type of investigation by the police is bordering on entrapment.


Sat, Oct 9, 2010 : 9:21 a.m.

I am constantly amazed at men that are sexually involved or wish to be with a child. It shows a deep seeded void of decency that as a former child victim, I find repulsive. Glad they got this one!


Sat, Oct 9, 2010 : 3:55 a.m.

Another fine Liberal to look up to.


Fri, Oct 8, 2010 : 4:07 p.m.

@Basic Bob I have one question for you. Do you have a daughter? If you do I hope she has others around her concerned about her welfare. If not that would help explain your flippant attitude.


Fri, Oct 8, 2010 : 3:56 p.m.

@ U of M The purpose of a bckground check is to EXCLUDE criminals from your employ or association. Bet I won't see this touted on the next U of M commercial. And I'm a criminal if I come on your property if I lawfully choose to carry? Really?


Fri, Oct 8, 2010 : 3:32 p.m.

Basic Bob, Solicitation is a crime, regardless of the age of the target or the nature of the crime being solicited. If you ask (which includes coercing, encouraging, requesting, forcing, etc) someone to commit a crime with the intention/expectation that they will actually commit the crime, (regardless of whether they actually do what you've asked), you can be convicted of solicitation. Having sex with a minor is illegal, so by definition, it's a crime. Using a computer to solicit sex from a minor is a crime, so you're toast there, too. Using a computer to solicit sex from someone whom you believe is a minor (whether they are or not) is also a crime. Using a computer to solicit sex from a minor and then traveling to meet the minor or paying for the minor to travel to meet you (whether the person is a minor or not) is actually a bigger crime than just soliciting a minor for sex is because it involves enticing. Crossing state lines to meet a minor, or paying for a minor to cross state lines to meet you is the granddaddy of 'em all, except if you take pictures of your "handiwork," which can get you up to life in prison. Traveling out of the country to meet a minor will get Interpol all up in your business, so you can file that under "Bad Plans" too. Basic rule of thumb, here: leave minors alone.

Basic Bob

Fri, Oct 8, 2010 : 2:53 p.m.

He accosted a 14-year old undercover investigator? If one believes their partner is an adult but is actually 14, it is a crime. But what if one believes their partner is 14 but is actually an adult? How can that reasonably be considered a crime?


Fri, Oct 8, 2010 : 2:24 p.m.

Thanks for reporting this story and posting his pic. Maybe this bit of public humiliation will offer some deterrent for would-be child predators. The prevalence of this behavior is sickening and frightening. For all the Joshua's out there that are caught and convicted, how many are never caught?? Let's talk to our daughters again and again about this.