federal and local partners announce charges in child exploitation case
NORRISTOWN – A fourth man was charged federally, yesterday, in a case involving sex with a minor who was exploited. Mark Wilczopolski, 22, of Birdsboro, PA, is one of four men charged federally and locally. Two additional men are charged by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office. In a joint press conference with Montgomery County District Attorney Risa Ferman, United States Attorney Zane David Memeger, today, announced the indictment against Wilczopolski, a/k/a “Wilco,” who is charged federally with using the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual conduct, receipt of child pornography and possession of child pornography. Wilczopolski will also be prosecuted, on local charges, by the Montgomery County District Attorney’s office. Wilczopolski is expected to make an initial appearance today in magistrate court.
Charged in related federal indictments are: Christopher Steele, a/k/a “Mike Dozor,” 33, of Newark, DE, who was indicted on March 6, 2014, for use of an internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual conduct, interstate travel with intent to engage in illicit sexual conduct with a minor, and receipt of child pornography; Matthew Krapf, 43, of Collegeville, PA, who was indicted on January 23, 2014, on 10 counts, each, of using or inducing a child to pose for child pornography, use of the Internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual contact, three counts of distribution of child pornography, and one count of possession of child pornography; and Jason Scott Becktold, a/k/a “Scotty,” 42, of Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, who was indicted on January 23, 2014, on four counts, each, of using or inducing a child to pose for child pornography, and use of the internet to entice a minor to engage in sexual conduct. The four men, and two others, were initially charged by the Montgomery County District Attorney. The cases listed here were adopted for federal prosecution.
According to the indictments, each of the defendants had contact, via the Internet, with Minor #1 and enticed Minor #1 to engage in sexual conduct and transmit it over the Internet. Krapf also traveled to meet Minor #1 for the purpose of having sexual intercourse, and is charged with doing the same with four other minor boys. In one instance, defendant Krapf traveled to meet Minor #1 and brought Minor #2 with him for the purpose of all three having sexual intercourse, which defendant Krapf videotaped and photographed, and then transmitted to others over the Internet.
According to Becktold’s indictment, Becktold induced Minor #1 to engage in sexual activity with himself and with other Minors, record video of the activity and transmit the video to him via the Internet. Becktold also induced Minor #1 to place a concealed recording device in a locker room to record other minor boys in various states of dress and undress.
Defendant Steele, according to his indictment, traveled from the state of Delaware to Pennsylvania for the purpose of engaging in sex with Minor #1 and enticed Minor #1 to engage in sexual activity over the Internet.
“The internet continues to provide child predators with access to children who cannot appreciate the tremendous physical and mental dangers they face at the hands of criminals who prey on children for sex,” said Memeger. “In order to combat this far too common threat, federal, state and local law enforcement partners must work together to bring those who victimize our children to justice.”
“The greatest responsibility of law enforcement is to protect our most vulnerable citizens,” said Ferman. “Keeping children safe is our number one priority. This case highlights the dangers our children face when communicating with strangers online. An unfortunate reality of our world is there are adults willing to manipulate and exploit vulnerable youth for their own base motives. Working together, the Limerick Township Police Department, the Montgomery County District Attorney’s Office, and the Department of Homeland Security and the United States Attorney's Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania have taken six alleged child predators off the street. I commend and thank our law enforcement partners for the strong collaboration and cooperation that allowed us to stop these acts of abuse against vulnerable kids.”
“HSI hereby puts child predators on notice: there is no refuge for child sexual predators who believe they can pursue their perverse behavior with impunity online; they cannot escape justice and there will be serious consequences for their actions,” said HSI Philadelphia Assistant Special Agent- in-Charge William Walker. “HSI will continue to diligently work with our partners at the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, the Montgomery District Attorney’s Office and other local, state, federal and international law enforcement agencies to combat the sexual exploitation of children.”
All four defendants are in federal custody. Matthew Krapf is scheduled for trial on May 19, 2014. If convicted of all federal charges, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 15 years in prison with a maximum sentence of life.
Christopher Steele is scheduled for trial on June 2, 2014. If convicted of all federal charges, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with a maximum sentence of life.
Jason Scott Becktold is scheduled for trial on September 15, 2014. If convicted of all federal charges, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with a maximum sentence of life.
Mark Wilczopolski is scheduled for an initial appearance this afternoon in federal court. If convicted of all charges, he faces a mandatory minimum sentence of 10 years in prison with a maximum sentence of life.
The cases were investigated by the Limerick Township Police, Montgomery County Detectives, and Immigration and Customs Enforcement Homeland Security Investigations. The federal cases are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michelle Rotella.
UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525