Point Park student held for trial, charged with asking 14-year-old girl for sex
A Virginia man waived to court charges on Wednesday that he asked a 14-year-old East Deer girl to have sex with him.
Brackenridge District Judge Carolyn Bengel refused to reduce $100,000 bond for Joshua Danilo Munoz, 23, of Reston, Va.
Munoz is charged with unlawful contact with a minor through text messages and a teen-chat website, “MyLOL,” and unlawful contact with a minor to have sex.
He is also accused of criminal use of a computer and phone to contact the girl, and criminal attempt to have sex with the girl. All for charges are felonies.
When the girl's family alerted police to Munoz' conduct, an agent with the state Attorney General's Office began communicating with him in place of the girl, authorities said.
Munoz, who is a Point Park University classical dance student, was arrested in a sting at about 4 p.m. June 2 in an unspecified location in Pittsburgh.
Bengel refused a request by defense attorney, David J. Shrager to reduce Munoz' bond to $20,000 or $25,000. He and Munoz' mother, Susan, said he would stay with his family in Virginia pending trial.
But Bengel said public safety is a major consideration in setting bond. Munoz could stay at the house but still use electronic devices to contact other girls, she said.
The district judge said normal bond requirements generally forbid the accused from leaving the state prior to trial.
Deputy Attorney General Anthony M. Marmo objected to a bond reduction.
“The crimes are significant,” he said. “Luckily, one of our officers contacted him. We arrested him in a sting because we got involved early this time.”
East Deer police Chief John Manchini said the girl's guardian saw inappropriate information on the girl's phone and reported it. Manchini said he interviewed the girl and guardian and called the Attorney General's office.
That was on May 31, a Saturday. The sting was set into operation, and the arrest was made two days later on June 2.
Marmo said an agent took over the girl's MyLOL site to contact Munoz.
“We got on this early,” Marmo said. “Usually, we get the call after the contact.”
Bengel sent the case to trial in Allegheny County Court on Aug. 1.
Outside the courtroom, Shrager said he will file a motion in county court seeking a bond reduction.
Chuck Biedka is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-226-4711 or firstname.lastname@example.org.