HARRISBURG - Agents from the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit along with the local police Friday arrested a Clarion County man accused of creating a modeling ruse in order to obtain naked pictures of children.
Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane identified the defendant as Shane Niederriter, 25, 2194 Nickleville Rd., Knox.
According to the criminal complaint, Knox used social media to pose as a modeling scout and solicit naked pictures from a mother and her 20-month old daughter. Niederriter allegedly identified himself as “Jim” and stated that he worked for “Docherty Talent and Modeling Agency” in Pittsburgh.
Kane said that in one instance Niederriter allegedly contacted the child’s mother via Facebook, told her he had seen a photo of her daughter and asked if she would send any “bath time” or swimsuit photos of the child.
The charges state that that mother consistently rejected Niederriter’s offers and contacted the Knox Police Department.
Agents executed a search of Niederriter’s computers and revealed hundreds of pictures and videos including at least 19 photos and seven videos of minors engaged in graphic sexual activity.
Kane noted that this continues to be part of an ongoing investigation. Individuals who believe they may have been contacted by Niederriter are encouraged to contact the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit at 1-800-385-1044 or the Knox Police Department.
Niederriter is charged with 25 counts of sexual abuse of children (possession of child pornography) and one count of criminal use of a communication. A preliminary hearing is scheduled for 10:45 a.m. on Feb. 12, 2013 at Shippenville District Court. He is currently being held in Clarion County Prison in lieu of $10,000 straight bond. Additionally, he was ordered to have no use of the Internet or computers.
Kane thanked the Knox Police Department and the Pennsylvania State Police for their assistance with the investigation.
The case will be prosecuted in Clarion County by Deputy Attorney General Anthony Marmo of the Attorney General’s Child Predator Unit.
Kane urged parents to be aware of the dangers associated with social networking sites, such as Facebook and offered the following tips:
- Do not share personal information online, including; full names; ages; addresses; phone numbers and children’s school information.
- Make sure that you have the proper privacy controls in place if you have a social networking page.
- Learn and understand the technology involved in social networking and online communication so that you can properly screen these services.
- Take the time to closely review how your children are using social networking sites and monitor their communication with others, especially with young teens that may not yet be sensitive to deceptive or predatory behavior involving online “friends.”
Additionally, Kane urged parents to frequently discuss Internet safety and security issues with their children, including the importance of telling a trusted adult if someone engages in inappropriate online activity, such as:
- Sexual discussions.
- Sending or requesting nude photos or explicit videos.
- Sending pornography or links to pornographic websites.
- Trying to arrange face-to-face meetings.
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