3 York County men accused of having inappropriate contact with minor

YORK COUNTY, Pa. — Three York County men are accused of having inappropriate contact with a minor.

The victim’s mother alerted police on July 12 that she found inappropriate content and messages on her child’s cell phone. She also advised that several nude images were sent to the cell phone and her child gave out their address and mentioned the possibility of meeting up with three people, according to charging documents. Through a law enforcement database, police identified the cellphone owners as 34-year-old Franklin Merritt, 53-year-old Scott Altland and 72-year-old Robert Jacobs, and the contact occurred in June and July.

Police spoke with Merritt, Altland and Jacobs, on separate occasions at the station and they all advised that they met the teen on an online dating site for gay men and the victim claimed to be 18 years old, but they had doubts about the minor’s age when they each — on separate occasions — saw a picture of the victim and/or met the victim, charging documents say.

Merritt, of York, is accused of sending the teen inappropriate pictures of himself and setting up arrangements for the two to engage in sexual acts. He has been charged with unlawful contact with a minor, disseminating explicit sexual material and corruption of minors, court documents show.

Altland, a Paradise Township resident, told police that he picked the victim up and drove to a parking lot, where they kissed and he allegedly touched the victim inappropriately. Altland faces charges of unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, indecent assault of a person less than 16 years of age and interference with custody of children, according to court documents.

Jacobs, of Jackson Township, is accused of sending the teen an inappropriate picture of himself. He also picked up the victim from home and drove to his residence, where he allegedly performed sexual acts on the minor. Jacobs has been charged with statutory sexual assault, involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a person less than 16 years of age, unlawful contact with a minor, corruption of minors, indecent assault of a person less than 16 years of age and interference with custody of children, court documents show.

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