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D.A.: Six charged in child porn ring

Prosecutors say men filmed, met young boys for exploits in the suburbs.

SIX MEN hailing from Oklahoma to Delaware have been charged in a child exploitation ring that authorities say lured young boys to sexual rendezvous via the Internet.

Federal, state and county law enforcement teamed up in Montgomery County yesterday to announce the results of a six-month investigation into the manufacturing of child porn and exploitation of seven local teenage boys.

Investigators seized computers, cellphones, CDs, DVDs and VHS cassette tapes of young boys naked or engaged in sex acts from as early as 2003.

"Each year, millions of children fall prey to sexual predators, and these victims are left with permanent psychological and emotional scars," said William Walker, assistant special agent-in-charge with Homeland Security investigations in Philadelphia.

"Predators often mistakenly believe that their illicit exploitation of children over the Internet will be anonymous, and they use sophisticated means - usually on a global scale - to attempt to evade law-enforcement detection," Walker said. "We urge parents to monitor what their children are doing online and to track their behaviors and to educate their kids on the perils and potential dangers of the Internet."

Indictments were handed down for Matthew Krapf, 43, of Collegeville; Christopher Steele, 33, of New Castle, Del.; Paul Gavin Britton, 45, of Dover, Del.; Mark Wilczopolski, 22, and Glenn Kriczky, 58, both of Birdsboro; and Jason Scott Becktold, 42, of Oklahoma City. Charges include dissemination of child pornography, involuntary deviant sexual intercourse and statutory sexual assault.

Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Vetri Ferman said that most of the defendants are awaiting trial, with the exception of Britton, who took his own life in February while awaiting extradition.

"This case illustrates, yet again, the dangers of children using the Internet," Ferman said.

"We've all seen incidents of teenagers making poor choices with their conduct online, and unfortunately, we still have adults out there who are willing to prey on little kids and take advantage of their willingness and ability to make wrong choices. These men will be facing significant consequences for their conduct."