Six men, ranging in age from 22 to 58, will face child exploitation charges for sexual contact they allegedly had with the same 14-year-old Limerick boy they all met on the Internet, state and federal authorities said Friday.
U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger and Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said all six of the men allegedly exchanged naked images of the teen. Three also stand accused of meeting with him in person to engage in various sex acts.
Their activity came to light, prosecutors said Friday, after the boy's parents learned of their son's illicit contact with the men in October and reported it to police. Through their investigation, authorities also identified five other minors who were allegedly victimized by one or more of the accused.
"This case highlights the dangers our children face with communicating with strangers online," Ferman said Friday. "An unfortunate reality of our world is there are adults willing to manipulate and exploit vulnerable youth for their own base motives."
The six charged include:
Matthew Krapf, 44, of Collegeville, who stands accused of videotaping his sexual encounters with five underage boys and distributing them to others. In one instance, he allegedly brought a 17-year-old with him for a meeting with the 14-year-old from Limerick in hopes they would all have sex together.
Jason Scott Becktold, 42, of Oklahoma City, Okla. Authorities said Friday he coaxed the teen into hiding a recording device at the locker room of his public school to transmit videos of other boys in various states of undress. Prosecutors would not say Friday which school the boy attended.
Christopher Steele, 33, of Newark, Del., who allegedly told the teen he was an adult film star before meeting him to engage in sex.
Steele's long-term romantic partner, Paul Gavin Britton, 46, of Dover, Del. Britton committed suicide in February while awaiting extradition in the case, prosecutors said.
Mark Wilczopolski, 22, of Birdsboro, who made an initial appearance in federal court Friday on charges of using the Internet to entice a minor and distribution of child pornography.
Glenn Kriczky, 58, of Birdsboro, who purportedly exchanged nude images over the Internet with the 14-year-old.
All six men were arrested between November and February.
Krapf, Becktold, Steele and Wilczopolski face federal child pornography and enticement charges. All but Becktold also face state charges, along with Kriczky for their purported physical contact with the boy.