Internet Security and Your Children
HARRISBURG, PA — Agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit have arrested a Lancaster County man accused of sending nude and sexually explicit webcam videos to what he believed was a 14-year old girl.
Kelly identified the defendant as Jeffrey Lee Mentzer, 46, of 146 East Franklin St., New Holland.
According to the criminal complaint, Mentzer used an Internet chat room to approach an undercover agent from the Child Predator Unit, who was using the online profile of a 14-year old girl.
Kelly said that during their initial online chat, Mentzer allegedly asked the girl to send a nude photo herself, commenting, “when I was with AOL I had a lot of girls your age send me nude pics.” Mentzer also allegedly sent a digital photograph of himself and later transmitted a webcam video that showed him engaging in a sex act in front of his computer.
During later online chats Mentzer allegedly sent a second sexually explicit webcam video, repeated his request for nude photos of the “girl” and discussed meeting her for sex.
“Internet predators will often send sexual materials during their first online contact with children,” Kelly said. “It is essential for parents to regularly discuss online safety issues with their teens and to stress the importance of immediately reporting any inappropriate contact.”
Mentzer is charged with two counts of unlawful contact with a minor (related to obscene and other sexual materials and performances) and one count of criminal use of a communications facility, all third-degree felonies which are each punishable by up to seven years in prison and $15,000 fines.
Kelly said that Mentzer was located in Vendergrift, Westmoreland County, on June 8, 2012, by agents from the Child Predator Unit, assisted by officers from the Vandergrift Police Department.
Mentzer was initially held in Westmoreland County on a parole detainer, awaiting county extradition and transportation back to Lancaster County to face these criminal charges. He is currently being held in the Lancaster County Prison awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for June 28th, at 3:15 p.m., before New Holland Magisterial District Judge Rodney H. Hartman.
The case will be prosecuted in Lancaster County by Deputy Attorney General Christopher J. Jones of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit.
Attorney General Kelly thanked the police departments from New Holland, Lancaster County, and Vandergrift, Westmoreland County, for their cooperation and assistance with this investigation.
Kelly explained that the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit has made 305 arrests involving individuals from across Pennsylvania and numerous other states – conducting proactive investigations and also assisting local law enforcement with cases involving the attempted sexual exploitation of children.
Kelly encouraged parents to stress the importance of not sharing personal information with adults – either online or in person – including full names, ages, addresses, phone numbers and school information, and added that children should always be especially cautious about strangers who approach them online.
Additionally, Kelly urged parents to regularly discuss Internet safety and security issues with their children, including the importance of telling a trusted adult if someone engages in inappropriate activity, such as:
- Sexual discussions.
- Sending or requesting nude photos or explicit videos.
- Sharing links to pornography.
- Trying to arrange face-to-face meetings.
Incidents involving child predators can be reported to the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit by using the “Report a Predator” link, located on the front page of the Attorney General’s website, at www.attorneygeneral.gov, or by calling the toll-free Child Predator Hotline at 800-385-1044.
(A person charged with a crime is presumed innocent until proven guilty)