Wrightsville man busted in underage sex sting

2-13-13 Martin-1

Joshua Martin

Three men are arrested after setting up what they thought were sexual trysts with underage girls. The Office of Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit busted the suspects when they showed up to meet their online chat partners for sex. Only, instead of the 13 and 14 year-old girls they thought they were meeting, they came face-to-face with the law.

“Our Child Predator Unit continues to aggressively investigate and prosecute those who commit heinous acts against our kids,” said Pennsylvania Attorney General Kathleen Kane. “Criminals, who intend to contact children over the Internet for indecent purposes, should plan on spending time in jail.”

The suspects are identified as follows:

• Robert Stewart, 61, 12 Dragoon St., Reisterstown (Baltimore County), MD;

• Joshua Martin, 32, 124 Elizabeth Court, Wrightsville (York County), PA; and

• Dennis Belles, 45, 145 W. Main St., Evans City (Butler County), PA.

Robert Stewart is  a photographer for Lifetouch Photography, a company that photographs students at schools and sporting events. He is accused of using a popular Internet chat room to contact a “girl,” who was actually an undercover agent.

According to the criminal complaint, Stewart questioned the “girl” about her experience with boys, and discussed in graphic detail the sex acts he wished to perform with her.

Stewart set up a meeting with what he thought was a 13 year-old girl for sex in York County, PA. He was arrested on Friday, Feb. 15, 2013.

Stewart is charged with two counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.  Stewart was preliminarily arraigned in York County’s “Central Booking,” and will be prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit.

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General extended its thanks to Springettsbury Township Police Department in York, PA for their assistance with the investigation.

 

According to the criminal complaint, Joshua Martin used an online chat room to engage in multiple conversations with what he believed was a 14 year-old girl.  During these conversations, Martin allegedly discussed in graphic detail the sex acts he wished to perform with the girl, and proposed meeting at a hotel for the purpose of sex.

Martin was taken into custody on Wednesday, Feb. 13, 2013 after he arrived at a predetermined meeting location in Lancaster County, PA to meet what he believed was a 14-year old girl.

Martin is charged with four counts of unlawful contact with a minor and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. He was preliminarily arraigned before Lancaster Magisterial District Judge Cheryl Hartman.  A preliminary hearing is scheduled for Thursday, Feb. 21, 2013 at 9:00 a.m. before Magisterial District Judge Mary Mongiovi Sponaugle.

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General thanked the Manheim Township Police Department in Lancaster County, PA for their assistance with the investigation.

Martin will be prosecuted in Lancaster County, PA by Deputy Attorney General Christopher Jones of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit.

Dennis Belles was arrested on Sunday, February 10 by agents from the Child Predator Unit, who were assisted by officers from the Cranberry Township Police Department.

According to the criminal complaint, Belles used an online forum to contact an undercover agent, who was using the online identity of a single mother of a 13-year-old girl.

According to the criminal complaint, Belles contacted what he believed to be the woman’s daughter and discussed in graphic detail the sex acts he wished to perform when they met.

He was preliminarily arraigned before Cranberry Township Magisterial District Judge Kovach, and lodged in the Butler County Prison in lieu of $100,000 cash bond.

Belles is charged with one count of unlawful contact with a minor related to sexual offenses; one count of criminal attempt/involuntary deviate sexual intercourse; one count of criminal use of a communication facility; one count of unlawful contact with a minor (obscene and other sexual material and performances); and one count of criminal attempt/indecent assault.

The Pennsylvania Office of Attorney General thanked the Cranberry Township and Evans City Police Departments for their assistance with the investigation.  The case will be prosecuted in Butler County, PA by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit.

“I encourage parents to discuss online safety, and to also emphasize that children should always tell a trusted adult if someone tries to use the Internet to sexually proposition them, send them graphic photos and videos or attempt to arrange a face-to-face meeting,” said Kane.

To report a suspected Internet predator, please call 800-385-1044 or visit www.attorneygeneral.gov.

8 comments

    • Steve

      One should also be asking the Lifetouch people… HOW well they check the backgrounds of old men that WANT to go to schools and photograph teenagers.

  • Jennifer

    To work for Lifetouch you have to have a clearance from Maryland and PA. If he was never caught before he would of had no record for them to see.

  • cm

    This makes me hate Lifetouch photography even more. They are a terrible company with terrible photographers that would let something like this happen.

    • Jennifer

      Ok lets set a few things strait, 1,The State of Pennsylvania conducted a thorough background check on the Life-touch employee as a condition of his employment, as well as the required national and regional criminal background checks done at their home base in Minneapolis..2, This offense DID NOT take place while said employee was on duty at, representing, or otherwise engaged in activity for Life-touch, 3. If the employment of one employee is relevant why is the employment of the others not?.. Please explain to me how Life-touch is responsible for the actions of a man that to date had not been arrested,charged, or even been under suspicion of any crime much less the one he is alleged of committing here? While I work for a competitor to said company and should they loose business its great for me, the mention of this mans employment was solely used to sensationalize the story and provide a calculated attack on a company that did nothing wrong.

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