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Child pornography charges stem from online investigation

| Friday, May 23, 2014, 3:46 a.m.
Courtesy Attorney General
Brian Zimmer
Courtesy Attorney General
Jeffrey Marks

A West Homestead man has been jailed on charges that he solicited sex from a 14-year-old girl — who really was an agent for the state Attorney General's office posing as a teenager.

Brian Zimmer, 37, was one of two men whose arrests were announced on Thursday by Attorney General Kathleen G. Kane. The other person arrested was Jeffrey Marks, 62, of Washington.

Each is being held in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $100,000 bond pending preliminary hearings next month in McKeesport.

In both cases, Kane's office said, an undercover investigation of online advertisements turned up suspicious solicitations. Zimmer was arrested on Wednesday in McKeesport.

According to a criminal complaint, agents posing as a minor female responded to a sexually graphic online ad that Zimmer posted.

Agents said Zimmer asked the “minor” for photos and provided a cellphone number so they could text. He allegedly gave a list of sex acts he wanted to perform on the girl when they met.

Zimmer was arraigned before McKeesport Magisterial District Judge Eugene F. Riazzi Jr. on 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.

Marks was arrested in a separate incident on Tuesday and was 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.

Both men are scheduled to go before Riazzi for a preliminary hearing on June 2 at 1 p.m.

The arrests coincided with a continuing investigation of child pornography that resulted in arrests of two men from North Versailles Township.

That investigation netted five more arrests earlier this month, including Michael Hadam, 59, of Glassport on May 15. His home was raided and a number of electronic media devices were seized.

Hadam was charged with 30 counts of possession of child pornography, three counts of distribution of child pornography and one count of criminal use of a communication facility. He is in Allegheny County Jail in lieu of $250,000 bond pending a preliminary hearing on Tuesday at 1 p.m. before Magisterial District Judge Armand Martin in Glassport.

Patrick Cloonan is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-664-9161, ext. 1967, or pcloonan@tribweb.com.

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