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Arrests break up sexual predator network

Local law enforcement agencies in Lackawanna and neighboring counties have long cooperated with each other and with state and federal officials to investigate allegations of sexual abuse. A recent series of arrests in Bucks County shows how such cooperation can yield results.

On Jan. 27, 2017, a Bucks County man was arrested and charged with multiple counts of sexual abuse against an underage boy beginning when the boy was about nine years old. This arrest was the fifth in a series directed at breaking up an alleged sexual predator network. The agencies that were involved in the investigation and arrest also identified four other men who were allegedly members of the sexual predator network. Four other men were arrested at various times since June 2016. The agencies were the Pennsylvania Attorney General, the Bucks County district attorney, state police and police from neighboring jurisdictions.

According to search warrants and criminal cases, the charges included a variety of sex crimes, including child rape, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse, unlawful contact with a minor, possession of child pornography. Two of the arrests occurred in Virginia. Many of the illegal sexual acts were alleged to have occurred at parties where a group of men were dressed in animal costumes. The men allegedly used the costumes to lure young boys into having various kinds of sexual interaction.

The charges in this case are very serious, and the evidence appears to weigh heavily against some of the defendants. Nevertheless, all of the defendants are entitled to be presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Anyone facing similar charges may wish to consult an experienced criminal attorney for an evaluation of the charges and the evidence and for an estimate of the likelihood of obtaining a favorable plea agreement or an outright acquittal.

Source: Bucks Local News, "Suspected sexual predator arrested in Bucks County; authorities say he was part of a network of at least four men who abused underage boy," Jan. 29, 2017

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