May 22, 2014
HARRISBURG - Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane today announced the arrest of two Western Pennsylvania men, who traveled to predetermined meeting locations to meet who they believed were 14-year-old girls for sex.
In both instances, agents with the Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Section, who were conducting an undercover investigation of online advertisements relating to the sexual exploitation of minors, discovered suspicious advertisements allegedly soliciting sex from young girls.
Jeffrey Marks, 62, 645 Lone Pine Road, Washington, Washington County and Brian Zimmer, 37, 1139 Cascade Drive, West Homestead, Allegheny County were arrested when they arrived at separate, predetermined meeting locations to engage in sexual activity with the "girls" they met online.
According to the criminal complaint, agents, posing as a 14-year-old girl, sent a message in response to an online advertisement. Marks allegedly responded and immediately turned the conversation sexual in nature and discussed in graphic detail the sex acts he wished to perform on the "girl."
The charges state that Marks expressed a desire to meet the minor to perform oral and other sexual acts. He was taken into custody on May 20, 2014 when he arrived at a predetermined meeting location.
Marks is charged with two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, one count of criminal attempt to commit involuntary deviate sexual intercourse with a child, one count of criminal attempt to commit indecent assault on a person less than 16 years of age and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
The charges state that Zimmer used the Internet to sexually proposition what he believed was a teenage girl. The "girl" was actually an undercover agent from the Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Section conducting an investigation into online advertisements that solicit sex from children.
According to the criminal complaint, agents, posing as a minor female, responded to a sexually graphic online ad that Zimmer posted. Zimmer allegedly asked the minor for photos and quickly turned the conversation sexual in nature, providing his cell phone number so that they could text.
Agents said that Zimmer allegedly expressed his interest in meeting the minor for sex and confirmed what sexual acts he wished to perform on her when they met. Zimmer was arrested on Wednesday, May 21, 2014 after traveling to McKeesport to meet what he believed was a 14-year-old girl.
Zimmer is charged with two counts of unlawful contact with a minor, two counts of criminal attempt to commit indecent assault and one count of criminal use of a communication facility.
Both Marks and Zimmer were held in the Allegheny County Prison following their arrests. Preliminary hearings are scheduled for both men at 1 p.m., June 2, 2014 before Magisterial District Judge Eugene Riazzi Jr.
Attorney General Kane thanked the McKeesport Police Department for its assistance with both investigations.
Marks and Zimmer will be prosecuted in Allegheny County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Office of Attorney General's Child Predator Section.
Reporting Internet Predators
Suspected Internet predators can be reported to the Attorney General's Child Predator Section by calling the Child Predator Hotline at 1-800-385-1044. Internet safety tips are available on the "Operation Safe Surf" section of www.attorneygeneral.gov. Organizations interested in materials, speakers or presentations should contact the Attorney General's Education and Outreach Unit at 1-800-525-7642 or via email at [email protected].
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty.)